John Oliver on the travesty of justice that is banks and bankers negotiating with regulators to pay ‘huge’ fines (in reality no more than a few days worth of sales) for committing financial crimes rather than serving jail time. To add insult to global injury, the banks also get away WITHOUT having to admit to either liability for their despicable behaviour or that they have engaged in any “wrongdoing” whatsoever.
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Video © Comedy Central
No one has been sent to jail for the crimes committed by bankers that led to the US$22 trillion banking crisis; not even when they are found in court to have committed criminal acts. Thus “Fatuous” Fabrice Tourre who has been found guilty of securities fraud with his criminal behaviour established in a civil court will do NO JAIL TIME. Instead, he faces fines and being banned from working on Wall Street. That’s for committing a US$1billion fraud. Compare that outcome to the jail time faced by anyone fraudulently claiming £70 job seekers allowance or out of work benefits of a few hundred dollars in the US.
Video © Comedy Central
It’s questionable whether they ever did act equitably, however it is now clear that our financial regulators and systems of criminal law have lost any sense of fairness and justice. Citizens in the UK and US are routinely jailed for low-level criminality such as buying cannabis for personal use, drunkenly suggesting on Facebook that kids should riot in some provincial town (four years for that one in the UK) or for stealing a bottle of water from a supermarket.
How then can it be right that crimes committed by the people running the financial service industry such as (and these are all real crimes that have been committed by the largest institutions in financial services) money laundering, theft, market fixing, insider trading and much else besides (making $billions along the way) go unpunished with those concerned not going to jail but instead using their criminally earned bonuses to holiday in the Caribbean and inflate house prices in the more popular parts of the country.
Of the many foul conclusions that can be drawn from these facts one thing is very clear:
In financial services CRIME PAYS!
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