Thursday, March 19, 2009

White Collar Criminals

Chad at BuzzFlash has some interesting words on the AIG bonus-receivers & white-collar crime in general.
  • A person steals a candy bar or a bottle of vodka, an article of clothing. Gets caught. Person is processed by the police. Might do time, might not, but at least this person gets scared straight by going through a humiliating process.
  • Bring down an economy, offer fraudulent insurance of risky banking derivatives, run the gambit on ethics from here to Sunday, and what happens? Do the police come? Do you even get fingerprinted? A stern lecture?
  • As a society, we have to decide what we should do with white-collar criminals. Not just for the AIG debacle, but in general, we need to decide whether the punishment fits the crime. Why can't we send white-collar criminals to real jail?
  • We can start with the AIG people since, well, they are getting us mad enough to finally address this long-standing issue. Should the people who caused much of the Wall Street implosion at the derivatives division of AIG still be working there or be in jail?
  • Having two different sets of ethics can be confusing. Rob a liquor store with a gun, and you will likely do jail time. Not white-collar jail, but real jail.
No different rules for AIG, Bernie Madoff, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, any of the other big boys at the big "banks" that took taxpayer money.

After they are taxed 100% on their ill-gotten gains (as my grandma would have called them), they can go straight to jail -- real jail. Perhaps they can share a cell with Bubba whose grandma lost all her 401K money when the stock market went south.

Do not pass "GO," do not collect $200. They played like the real world was a game of Monopoly. Let them endure the consequences as if the real world were a game of Monopoly.

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