The High Cost of the Deregulation of the Banking Industry…
It seems as though each new week brings a new banking scandal to light. This week’s edition is Libor. For anybody that doesn’t know what is happening, you can read about it in Robert Scheer’s article on truthdig.com or an op-ed piece in the New York Times by Joe Nocera titled, Libor’s Dirty Laundry, or countless other places online. It has been a beef of mine for some time that nobody has been held accountable for the financial meltdown of 2008 and all of the subsequent fraudulent banking behavior since the crisis.
As each new scandal is revealed, as each incident of gross injustice and inequality actually makes the main stream media headlines, the feelings of resentment by the 99% grow. This income inequality is reaching a very critical tipping point and the injustice with the flow of money and power in this country is terribly unfair. In Joseph Stiglitz’s book The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future, he writes,
It was rightly perceived to be grossly unfair that many in the financial sector walked off with outsize bonuses, while those who suffered from the crisis brought on by these bankers went without a job; or that government bailed out the banks, but was reluctant to even extend unemployment insurance for those who, through no fault of their own, could not get employment after searching for months and months, or that government failed to provide anything except token help to the millions who were losing their homes. What happened in the midst of the crisis made clear that it was not contribution to society that determined relative pay, but something else: bankers received large rewards, though their contributions to society – and even to their firms – had been negative. The wealth given to the elites and to the bankers seemed to arise out of their ability and willingness to take advantage of others.
Negative contributions to their own firms and to society and they are rewarded with millions of dollars. Yet, Americans seem to have a ho-hum attitude toward it all as though the banking elite are not subject to the laws of this country. The British are the ones who are angry as Nocera writes in his column…
Britain and America have reacted to the Libor scandal in completely different ways. Britain is in an utter frenzy over it, with wall-to-wall coverage, and the most respectable, pro-business publications expressing outrage.
Yet, on these shores, the reaction has been mainly a shrug. Perhaps we’re suffering from bank-scandal fatigue, having lived through Bank of America’s various travails, and the Goldman Sachs revelations, and, most recently, the big JPMorgan Chase trading loss.
So who is right on this issue? Nocera adds…
But the Brits have this one right. They may not understand the intricacies of Libor any better than we do, but they sense, powerfully, that banks have once again made a mockery of the role that society entrusts to them.
He concludes with this…
Barclays, of course, is hardly the only big bank that manipulated Libor for fun and profit. It is simply the first to admit its wrongdoing and settle with the government. The word is that just about every big bank is under investigation for playing games with Libor, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and other American-based financial giants.
Which means there is going to be a lot more opportunities for Americans to become outraged over this scandal. And, maybe, to finally summon the will to change banking once and for all.
Think about it, the United States will spend hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out these “banks” and afford them the right to grant golden parachutes to these sick criminals that steal and defraud the American people, yet will struggle to extend any unemployment benefits or fund education, or, heaven forbid, fund healthcare! Does anybody have a problem with this?
The deregulation of the banking industry has had such a dramatically negative impact on the United States that it extremely difficult to track the rippling effects of it all. One can easily assert that the deregulation of the banks has effectively concentrated the wealth and power into the hands of the Wall Street elite. With this money and power, they (1%ers) have managed to completely take over the food industry (yes, they control the food supply), energy, health care, the military, and they are also currently stripping apart all aspects of the public sector including education.
Americans need to get angry. We need to hold these criminals accountable. What will it take to make citizens stop rolling over for the greedy banks?
This guy is exactly right…we can’t take it anymore!!! It is time to demand reform. It is time to demand accountability. It is time to take the country back from the 1%.