Edwards, Bonds, Clemens, and then there are all the criminals on Wall Street

Today we learned that Jonathan Edwards was found not guilty on the one count on which the jury could agree. My recollection is that Barry Bonds was found guilty of some absolutely minor offense and walked on the rest. Roger Clemens is on trial now for lying about abusing his own body with steroids. These three trials alone must have cost the taxpayers more than ten million dollars; I’m pretty sure that number is way too low. I’d argue that while each of three likely broke the law, none of their offenses mattered very much to anyone (other than to Mrs. Edwards and her family, of course).

Meanwhile, not a single senior financial executive has even been prosecuted for the massive criminal activity that was perpetrated on the American people leading to the near-collapse of our entire economic system. Their individual and collective crimes impacted millions of Americans. People lost their life savings. They lost their homes. They lost their jobs. In Charles Ferguson’s latest book, Predator Nation, he continues the story he started with his Oscar-winning documentary, Inside Job. It’s a story of greed and corruption, but make no mistake, it is also a story of extensive criminal activity. Ferguson documents every bit of it and it’s enough to make smoke come out of your ears.

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2 Responses to Edwards, Bonds, Clemens, and then there are all the criminals on Wall Street

  1. Bill Aitken '64 says:

    And let us not forget, in addition to the Wall Street senior financial executives playing fast and loose with our money, potential prosecutorial culpability of the Bush/Cheney administration for their antiregulatory stance and other related actions that contributed to all of it. Wouldn’t have happened with proper oversight and regulation. As I read it, Bush defunded the SEC by 75% when it was unable to keep up with their regulatory mandate at 100% funding, and we got a Wall Street (and near world-wide) financial meltdown. And placing Cheney in charge of deregulation of the petroleum industry (in which he and Bush were heavily invested) led to a Gulf full of oil (Haliburton was found partially culpable)! Discipline is not in-born, it has to be learned (especially the self- variety) and there is no sunstitution for proper regulation (we see that in a great many of today’s youth, don’t we?). If people would only remember what got us into the current mess in the first place at election time. Sure seems like everybody can get away with anything today.

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