Banker-Controlled Government Can’t Figure Out How To Prosecute Bankers

  it's morning in america

Swallow don't spit!

  • The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said on Wednesday that Goldman Sachs “misled investors selling mortgage-backed investments it knew would fail” and that executives from the bank had also “misled Congress in a testimony given in 2010.” And now all the thieving, lying bankers who ruined America will be sent to Bagram Fun Palace. Just kidding! The New York Times has a million-word story explaining how federal investigators tried so hard to find a way to prosecute Goldman Sachs and all the other banks, but just couldn’t! (Seriously!) According to the NYT Business Section, trying to figure out why all these white rich guys who control our government weren’t convicted of financial malfeasance is “the equivalent of determining why a dog did not bark — is anything but simple.” Ha-ha. Okay? Here is a news article about a 25-year-old mother of four who was sentenced to ten years in prison for selling $31 of weed. Why was she sent to prison? Because she stole billions of dollars and lied about it to the United States Senate. (She wasn’t friends with Henry Paulson, though!) Embarrassing. [NYT]
  • Using fancy algorithms, nerds have been able to “teach” the iPhone how to recognize “the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa” and even Angry Birds. Google wants to expand this “computer vision” technology, so that machines can one day identify everything, especially humans trapped in a space pod. This is a terrible idea. [CNN]
  • Congress honored the surviving gangsters and Cuban exiles who participated in the illegal and thankfully disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion with a “resolution put into the Senate record and remarks from the floor of the House of Representatives.” Hooray. Inciting War merit badges for everybody! (And maybe even a few “Thanks for Killing JFK” medallions.) [McClatchy]
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About the author

Riley is an "internet blogger." He has written for such internet websites as True/Slant and the terrible Brangelina gossip emporium "The Huffington Post." Riley lives in northeast DC, near H Street. Maybe you do too and want to hang out?

View all articles by Riley Waggaman

Hola wonkerados.

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148 comments

  1. WinterOuthouse

    Hank Paulson put in a clause in TARP that read, Any person found bilking the government for less than 10 billion will be prosecuted. Anything over 10 billion can not be prosecuted because they are smart and my neighbor.

    Bunch of fucking assholes. Just wait. Someday the people will rise up and kick these evil fuckers out at about the same time the devil gets frostbite.

  2. x111e7thst

    You can't let people sell weed. It's a slippery slope. Next thing you know they will be stealing loaves of bread to feed their hungry children.

    1. Terry

      Anyone caught stealing bread must go to jail for at least 15 years and have their name permanently changed to just a number.

      1. Maman

        Stealing bread? We need a public hanging for that kind of crime. Just to send a message that crime will not be tolerated.

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya

    The New York Times?

    Who can afford to read that, now that the banksters have stolen all our money?

    P.S. Congress doesn't need to go to court to break up the banks…they could pass a law to do that.
    ~

  4. ManchuCandidate

    Bankers lie? Incomprehensible!!

    Bankers would never lie… or brag about blowing 5k on strippers and booze (mostly strippers) that they just expensed on their personal expense account (he worked for the late Merrill Lynch.)

        1. comrad_darkness

          Heh. That Mars Needs Women movie poster was what made me realize I'd hit teenagerhood. When I was a little kid, it seemed really quite scary. But one day, all of a sudden, it seemed kinky and exciting.

  5. BlueStateLibel

    But that woman who sold weed would have gotten a few people into a calm, peaceful state for a few hours, while those bankers only destroyed lives, homes, and families. See the difference?

    1. NorthStarSpanx

      At least she wasn't a perp in Texas during W's Chief Executing. The Decider would have fried her ass and mocked her pleas for clemency.

      1. Terry

        No, one of his staffers would have done that while he golfed or chatted people up for donations to his campaign.

  6. Oblios_Cap

    Explain to me again why the investment bankers need those huge retention bonuses or they'll quit the business and deprive us all of their god-given talents?

    1. Sparky_McGruff

      We absolutely positively have to make sure the wall streeters who stole our 401K loot don't pay any taxes on their stolen cash. Because it creates jobs. Mostly jobs for call girls and coke dealers. I'm sorry, I've lost my train of thought, what was the question again?

    2. riverside68

      They call them retention bonuses because (isn't this part darling?) they were too embarrassed to call them performance bonuses after they almost destroyed the world and had to go on Billionaire Welfare.
      They get the money for the same reason dogs lick their balls: because they can.

      1. tessiee

        "they were too embarrassed to call them performance bonuses after they almost destroyed the world and had to go on Billionaire Welfare."

        In related news, BP just gave its execs safety bonuses.
        And no, I'm not making that up; I wish I were.

    1. occams8ball

      That's what makes this story so cute! The dog didn't bark because the perp was the dog's beloved master.

  7. iburl

    Rich white people's crimes are so huge and complex, they really should be rewarded with trillions of dollars in taxpayer's money. Oh yeah, we already did that. Cheers!

    1. Serolf_Divad

      False advertising? Maybe that's the real reason she went to prison.

      Also:

      When she was picked up to be taken to prison, she had marijuana in her jacket pocket, which led to another two-year concurrent sentence and a fine of nearly $1,300.

      I mean, I feel sorry for the gal, and the sentence is a travesty, but… er… she's obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed.

  8. Serolf_Divad

    For some reason Riley's musings today remind me of my favorite exchange from the show Community:

    Shirley: [excitedly] Guys, guys, do you know I actually have a civil case against that bitch that stole my husband?
    Jeff: Shirley, don't sue a stripper.
    Shirley: Why not?
    Jeff: She's a stripper: life sued her, and she lost.

    Today we are all strippers who were sued by life… and lost.*

    *Wall street bankers excluded, of course.

    1. Terry

      Besides, if your husband leaves you for a stripper, HE is the one to be mad at, not the stripper.

  9. freakishlywrong

    "Mislead", "not accurate", "misspoke"…fucking lying liars telling lies. Was that Orwell or Franken?

    1. GOPCrusher

      Walk into a bank sometime and tell them to "Give me 700 billion dollars, no questions asked" and see what happens to you.

  10. user-of-owls

    Ok, I think we have a triple play here folks. All we need to do is get Baltazar 'El Zarro' Garzon on the case and, presto, the Hague needs more defendant chairs to accommodate all the bankers, Cuban gusanos and nerdy collaborators in the coming machine-led Vichy regime.

    1. horsedreamer_1

      You better Pinochet yourself before you wreck yourself.

      You just know Jack Straw will swoop in, last minute, & get the bankers repatriated to their countries of origin (where they won't/can't be prosecuted).

  11. harry_palmer

    We the people won't let them get awawy with this bullshit in broad daylight. We demand to see Obama's birth certificate.

  12. Oblios_Cap

    Google wants to expand this “computer vision” technology, so that machines can one day identify everything, especially humans

    That's why I have to keep telling myself that the Terminator stroies were "only movies".

    1. SorosBot

      But perhaps our rulers under the coming robocracy will be benevolent and treat us like pets; that's what I'm hoping anyway.

      1. comptoneffect

        Well, if nothing else the new robot overlords can’t be any more (less?) soulless than Wall Street bankers. A little help from the editors in the room, is it less soulless or more soulless?

      2. Naked_Bunny

        I'll be able to lounge around the house naked, sleep 20 hours a day, and get led around the neighborhood on a leash pooping wherever I want, even when it's not the weekend? Sign me up!

        1. SorosBot

          And the robots will just hand your food to you. However most will probably remember to spay and neuter their pets, so it's a mixed blessing.

          1. Naked_Bunny

            The robots will probably use painkillers before deballing me, unlike the bankers, so it's still a net gain.

    2. bagofmice

      Only movies that have run through optical recognition software and put into databases in at least 5 data-centers distributed around the world.

    1. comrad_darkness

      Trouble is, weed, like houses, is an economic sink hole. Entertainment and shelter are just that. Economic dead ends. We need to get back to the stuff that increases efficiency. Shit like mass transit and basic innovation.

      Not that I'm against your idea, but it's a short term boost and then we're screwed again.

      Wait, that didn't have any snark, did it. Apologies.

      1. simplyblue7

        Thanks for ruining my weed farm dream!

        All joking aside though, if weed did become legal and everyone decided "hey, i'm gonna grow some to make some extra cash!" it would probably be a disaster. everyone would become farmers and pretty soon you'll be left with not enough consumers. Big weed farmers would have to compete with little weed farmers that grow their shit in a little patch of land in their house. Then you'd probably need some government regulation to protect the farmers and possibly control the market, and all that jazz.

        A man can dream though….

    2. GOPCrusher

      Nice dream, but like in California, someone will convince pot growers that legalized marijuana will mean less money in their pockets. And once again, we will vote against our own best interests.

        1. Mumbletypeg

          As long as Hank learns a valuable lesson from the experience. Others have turned violent and exhibit a nasty streak of homophobia.

  13. KathrynSane

    Also, as a complete stoner, I am obligated to say the following on this and every other weed-related story: Legalize it, assholes!

    1. GeneralLerong

      We wish. Too bad Wall Street runs on coke, or we'd have our little backyard pot plantations already.

  14. FNMA

    Short version: They're too big to throw in jail.

    I've always said, if you're going to steal, steal big.

  15. jonzin

    If you're going to commit a crime, make sure that you wear a suit when you're doing it! Come on people! That's just common sense. You can be a douchenozzle banker and steal a billion and get no time or you can rob a liquor store for 500 bucks and get 20 years. That's justice right there.

  16. WinterOuthouse

    The Cubans have waited so long. I'm thrilled they are finally able to be rewarded for trying to rid the brown from Cuba. Where would the US be if these patriots had not taken the law into their own hands? Heroes all. Well done assface gangsters!

    1. SorosBot

      Hey, we should thank them for the way that the bumbling incompetence of some of those Cubans while committing crimes on behalf of a certain President lead to his downfall.

    2. horsedreamer_1

      I remember reading a book on Cuba, back in '02 or '03, & there was a choice quote from a criolla in Miami who, on returning from a trip to see family/old haunts on the island, said, "Castro, he has turned my country black".

      & this is Marco Rubio's base.

      So, when we get our next brown president (Rubio 2020: Vision for America), the Teabagging/birth-cert nonsense will only get worse — but then, it will be the man in the Oval Office leading the charge.

      1. Terry

        Honestly, what do the aging Cubans in Miami think is going to happen when the Castros are gone or communism otherwise falls in Cuba? That they're going to walk back into their former mansions in Havana, the clock is going to roll back to the 50's, and they'll be drinking cocktails at the Copa with the Rat Pack? Well, that and living as a wealthy oligarchy over a bunch of dirt poor people?

        1. horsedreamer_1

          Como se dice 'Matt Taibbi' en espanol?

          (Didn't MT get his start as an ex-pat newspaper proprietor in post-Soviet Russia?)

  17. NorthStarSpanx

    In a culture that celebrates the storyline of a suburban mother selling Weeds to get by, I'd say Life isn't imitating Art for this poor woman.

  18. Steverino247

    Were they under oath? Did they lie? Arrest who did.

    What's so fucking hard about that? We do it to millionaire baseball players, don't we?

    1. mrblifil

      Millionaire baseball trials are performed to instill in the populace a sense that fair play is valued, because the children. Whereas bankster trials would imply that shifty-eyed trolls who dream of nothing all day but how to steal money from people who don't have any are a thing average citizens should be protected from. This would perhaps lead to the propagation of "funny ideas."

      1. horsedreamer_1

        Bonds isn't going to do any time, though.

        Sometimes, it's nice to know Cincinnati (Pete Rose) & San Francisco (Bonds) exist, & favourtism rules. Jury nullification we can believe in. (O.J. the Murderer, though — eff him.)

  19. BlueMonkeh

    My favorite quote – ever:

    "You put Lloyd Blankfein in pound-me-in-the-ass prison for one six-month term, and all this bullshit would stop, all over Wall Street," says a former congressional aide. "That's all it would take. Just once."

    (h/t to Matt Taibbi)

  20. donner_froh

    The Oklahoma mother was given such a harsh sentence because she pissed off the judge and prosecutors by not taking their plea deal. She thought (was told by her public defender, if they have such things in OK) she could get a lighter sentence by not taking the deal.

    They hate you when you do that–it means the 10 minutes the prosecutors spent figuring out the deal and the 30 seconds the judge took to OK were wasted. So give her 10 years to teach everyone else a lesson.

    1. BlueMonkeh

      yup – getting your day in court costs money – and if you don't have it you better go away quietly

    2. Oblios_Cap

      She should have hired Orly Taitz as her legal counsel. She might have gotten her teeth fixed after she was acquited, too.

    3. riverside68

      Every public defender everywhere knows the deal is the best way out. They know the poor and brown go down. No way any PD says take it to trial, it will be better.
      Clients have a hard time accepting that they gotta eat a crap sandwich or get fucked with no lube, there are only two options.
      The courts hate trials, cause they take a day or two, and that means 50 to 100 pleas aren't getting processed, and no noontime sex in the jury room.
      She was asking for it.
      No banker ever messed with the noontime sex, or clogged up the courtroom with a bunch of whining. Fact is the bankers buy the drinks at the club at bonus time. Who would want to mess with that?

  21. Monsieur_Grumpe

    I’m working on an iPhone app that will sound an alarm when idiots come within a certain distance. So far I can’t seem to get the thing to stop going off.

  22. WinterOuthouse

    Thirty-one dollar of pot? Worth 10 in theBig House? Sound like a hundred-thousand dollar punishment for a $31.00 crime.

    1. Schmannnity

      With incarceration at $30,000.00 per year, more like $300,000.00 punishment (not counting Children and Family Services for her four kids for the next ten years).

      1. GOPCrusher

        Do away with government funded Children and Family Services and make the little urchins get jobs to help pay back society for their Mother being incarcerated.
        The invisible hand demands it!

  23. WinterOuthouse

    The people that got all the money are mostly white. Whites deserve the money because they are superior. The black? brown? lady with the pot had to be locked up because she is brown? black?.

    You brown? You're goin' down!

  24. prommie

    This is just exactly why I take such great pride in being an attorney, an officer of the court, a part of this incredible system of law and justice we have in this great country!

    It fills me with a sense of pride and accomplishment just to know that I am a tool in this immense, and entirely fraudulent system of injustice. And its so fun to work around all the other tools, egotistical, narcissistic, delusional idiots who don't even know that they are the tools of an entirely fraudulent system.

    Everybody knows the dice are rotten, everybody rolls with their fingers crossed . . .

    No, everybody doesn't know, most people are too stupid, they trust the House.

    1. SorosBot

      So many people will always trust that the cops and prosecutors are totally honest and arguing in good faith. Knowing many prosecutors and some cops, trusting them is one of the most foolish things a person can do.

      And hey, now that they can't be sued even if they deliberately illegally conceal exculpatory evidence for years, leading to an innocent person wrongful getting a death sentence, they're gonna be extra-trustworthy!

      1. prommie

        I have, on more than one occasion, had a cop confront me in the hallway outside the courtroom and brag about how he will lie, and his lies will convict my client, if the client pushes the case to trial. I have had cops brag to me about how often they have lied and had it accepted it as truth. They are very proud of their successful perjury.

  25. UpFistTroll

    OT, but has anybody else been able to get IntenseDebate to load replies? Mine just sits there spinning on "Loading…"

  26. weejee

    All New York metro area Wonketteers need to go down and pee on the Wall Street Bull. Remember, urine is a bronze corrosive.

    We really, really need some Predator drones shooting-up Wall Street.

  27. BarackMyWorld

    If Andrew Cuomo ever ran for president, he'd lose.

    Not because of any actions he took during the financial crisis, or any programs enacted as governor, but because he lives with his girlfriend out of wedlock.

    This is America.

  28. neiltheblaze

    Rich fucks who steal millions don't even feel shame never mind the lash of the law; poor people who move one millimeter off of the straight and narrow get hammered. America in the 21st Century seems a lot like France in the 18th Century.

    Sharpen up the guillotines and man the barricades!! Oh wait – this is the USA. We worship the people who crush us because we might accidentally win the lottery and become one of them.

    1. Pithaughn

      I thumb up your call to "Sharpen up the guillotines". I'm sure the forest of liberty will do just fine with the blood of blood suckers.

  29. Beowoof

    According to Matt Taibbi's latest Rolling Stone article, they appear to believe we the taxpayers should give them a trillion dollars and thank them for fucking us.

  30. UpFistTroll

    And… of course I can't see replies to my comment asking if anybody else can see replies. Wow, that was a bright move I made, there.

    1. CalamityJames

      Damn, had I hung in there for just a few minutes I could have saved a little redundancy.

  31. Thurman Munster IV

    Big man, pig man, ha ha charade you are.
    You well heeled big wheel, ha ha charade you are.

  32. BeWoot

    I'm outraged, of course. But I'm almost as curious–When did people start selling weed for prices that don't end in zeros or fives? Is this a new trend?

    1. CalamityJames

      No shit. And can I be a little honest here? WTF is $31 of weed? These days, you might get a decent sized joint out of it, but you sure as hell won't get high.

    1. comrad_darkness

      They've still got essentially free money, remember. Which they get to loan back to the government at an instant profit.

  33. hagajim

    How about writing an algorithm for the iPhone that can recognize when a hedge fund fuck is taking liberties (insider trading etc.) that would completely screw te economy once the house of cards falls down. Once it recognized them it could auto-taze the fuck out of them until they are vibrating on the floor like a Hitachi Magic Wand….oh wait, all of Wall Street would be down.

  34. comrad_darkness

    UpFistTroll, Yes, everything is working for the rest of us. Close the browser and reload everything from the start. Or download a different browser, maybe.

  35. pdiddycornchips

    Who ever said violence never solved anything must not be familar with the douchebags who populate Wall Street. Hopefully god is watching and will soon rain hell fire on their sorry asses. Unless god has a huge long bet on GS stock that's unhedged.

  36. CalamityJames

    I got it! There's no need to send these arrogant ass-clown fucksticks to prison. All we have to do is ensure a meeting in a large, empty room with each and every victim. Once a day, for life. Continue doing whatever corrupt bullshit you want, but first, someone would like a word with you.

    1. GOPCrusher

      Don't think it will work. Hell, Bernie Madoff still doesn't believe that he did anything wrong and he's a political prisoner.

  37. poncho_pilot

    thirty-ONE? i've never heard of that. thirty? thirty-five? yes. $4.77 like wal-mart? no.

  38. meggafish

    The Banksters and their aiders and abettors walk among us, (seldom walk what with their fleets of planes, limos, yachts) after committing a crime with a magnitude off the scale. At the bottom of society you can be killed by the police for stealing a can of beans, go to prison for 25 years for stealing those beans three times, but loot the nation, take us into treasonous wars, bribe our representatives, it's Park Ave., The Hamptons, Armani and a solid gold Rolex.

    Right down the line all of Amerika's ills and failures can be traced to the greed of a minuscule number of people raking in huge amounts while the rest of us pay the piper. They own all the politicians, save a handful that are marginalized, own all media, own all banking and finance, insurance and pharmaceutical and healthcare industries and they will never ever give up that power, let alone allow people to see what they done, by cloaking it in patriotism, free enterprise while keeping the population divided and confused with a barrage of noise on celebrity, birther questions, gay rights, muslims, race relations and other small issue questions. Meanwhile they've tightened their iron grip on every aspect of Amerikan life and turn it into profit for them and misery for us. The fact that while Barker's held to this standard of law and the wealthy and powerful are not, is to me, and should be to you, repugnant.

    Or as Montagu Norman, Governor of The Bank Of England, addressing the United States Bankers' Association, New York, 1924 said…
    "Capital must protect itself in every possible way, both by combination and legislation. Debts must be collected, mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible. When, through process of law, the common people lose their homes, they will become more docile and more easily governed through the strong arm of the government applied by a central power of wealth under leading financiers. These truths are well known among our principal men, who are now engaged in forming an imperialism to govern the world.

    BY DIVIDING THE VOTERS THROUGH THE POLITICAL PARTY SYSTEM, WE CAN GET THEM TO EXPEND THEIR ENERGIES IN FIGHTING FOR QUESTIONS OF NO IMPORTANCE."

  39. Walkinwiddaking

    Kudos to Gretchen Morgenson. She was raising red flags about these unfathomable financial instruments well before the bubble burst.

  40. Beanball

    You know, Mark Twin once remarked that any time two or more bankers get together you have a conspiracy.

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