Judge lambastes deal in Wall Street fraud case

It always drives me nuts to see stories to the effect that “Corporation X agreed Thursday to pay a $500 gazillion penalty to settle federal fraud charges, but the company admitted no wrongdoing.”

Apparently, U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York agrees with me.

In a sharp rebuke to such deals, Rakoff this week rejected a $285 million proposed settlement between Citigroup and the Securities and Exchange Commission, calling the deal “neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest.”

As Rakoff lays out the allegations against Citigroup in his opinion:

“… after Citigroup realized in 2007 that the market for mortgage-backed securities was beginning to weaken, Citigroup created a billion-dollar fund that allowed it to dump some dubious assets on misinformed investors. This was accomplished by Citigroup’s misrepresenting that the fund’s assets were attractive investments rigorously selected by an independent investment adviser, whereas in fact Citigroup had arranged to include in the portfolio a substantial percentage of negative projected assets and had then taken a short position in those very assets it had helped select.”

In other words, it knowingly created and peddled a bad investment to its clients, and then bet against those clients that the investment would fail.

Which of course it did.

Investors lost $700 million in the deal, while Citigroup made a tidy profit of $160 million. Under the settlement negotiated with the SEC but rejected by Rakoff, the company would have to cough up the profits it earned and pay an additional $95 million fine to make it all go away.

Amazingly, the SEC chose to charge Citigroup only with negligence, rather than outright fraud. Not only was the fine it proposed insufficient, Rakoff wrote, the deal ensures that the American public “is deprived of ever knowing the truth in a matter of obvious public importance.”

“In any case like this that touches on the transparency of financial markets whose gyrations have so depressed our economy and debilitated our lives,” Rakoff wrote in his opinion, “there is an overriding public interest in knowing the truth. In much of the world, propaganda reigns, and truth is confined to secretive, fearful whispers. Even in our nation, apologists for suppressing or obscuring the truth may always be found. But the SEC, of all agencies, has a duty, inherent in its statutory mission, to see that the truth emerges.”

Rakoff went on to note that it was hard to determine what the SEC was getting from the settlement “other than a quick headline.” Citigroup was a repeat offender in such cases, “and yet, in terms of deterrence, the $95 million civil penalty that the Consent Judgment proposes is pocket change to any entity as large as Citigroup.”

To some degree, I can sympathize with the SEC’s position. The agency is grossly underfunded and has to deploy its limited resources carefully. Getting involved in a lengthy court fight with a deep-pockets defendant such as Citigroup would eat up a lot of staff time. The temptation is to cut a deal and move on.

And while the Obama administration has requested additional funding for the SEC and its sister agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, House Republicans have refused to approve that request, preferring to keep the Wall Street watchdogs toothless and on a short leash.

Personally, I think we ought to consider solving the funding problem by giving the SEC and CFTC a cut of the money that they recover, just as other law-enforcement agencies get a cut of what they recover in drug-trafficking cases. That’s “running government like a business,” right? If you want them to do a good job, you give them a financial incentive to do their job more aggressively.

Furthermore, since the money being recovered would by definition come from law-breakers rather than those who do business honestly, it could hardly be considered a tax increase.

But as we all know — Judge Rakoff included — that isn’t going to happen.

– Jay Bookman

275 comments Add your comment

Jimmy62

November 30th, 2011
12:32 pm

So many civil rights have been violated by forfeiture laws. People have had their lives devastated because they fell under suspicion for drug related crime, had their belongings confiscated by the local police (to fund the local police’s pensions), and were never found to be guilty, but never got their stuff back. It’s fully legal, and now Bookman wants to expand it. 10 years from now the SEC will decide your company has too much money and the wrong politics, they’ll confiscate your stuff, kill your company, and even though you’ve done nothing wrong you’ll be screwed.

Don’t give government more power to take private property, the results won’t be pretty.

Anyone remember the key real estate at the core of the Kelo v New London case, where the local government seized private property to give it a to private company in the name of revitalization? Well that private company ended up not building, so essentially our government stole homes from private citizens, and replaced them with empty lots. Bookman wants to expand that sort of behavior so that the government can just seize entire corporations.

Yes, he says it would only be against companies that do bad things, but define bad things. And tell me when an ambiguous limit like that was ever stuck to?

The government has far more money and power than the top 1% all put together, and Bookman wants to hand them more power.

Mick

November 30th, 2011
12:32 pm

Score one for the good guys…

Matti's Boycott

November 30th, 2011
12:33 pm

YAYYYYY for Judge Rakoff! It’s nice to know that there are still SOME people in positions of authority who give a darn about what’s right.

Kamchak

November 30th, 2011
12:34 pm

Zero tolerance, mandatory minimums.

If it’s good enough for drug crimes, it’s good enough for global economy shaking fraud crimes.

Mad Max

November 30th, 2011
12:36 pm

So the SEC under Obama’s watch cuts a bad deal and somehow you find a way to blame it on the Republicans again. I guess this administration is not responsible for anything. I thought Bush was no longer running the WH, the Dem’s control the Senate and up until last year, the Dem’s controlled the House. Maybe if they had spent their time looking at things when they had full control instead of putting all their efforts into forcing health care upon us, funding wouldn’t have been an issue. Maybe if they had a plan instead of being reactionary, this wouldn’t be a problem.

JamVet

November 30th, 2011
12:39 pm

62, awesome analysis and condemnation of the oft-repeated, massive criminal behavior at Citigroup.

Just consider how bad things would be now had George not kept his campaign promise to clean up Wall Street!

Gator Joe

November 30th, 2011
12:41 pm

Jay:
Unless, and until, those CEO’s are prosecuted for fraud, the fraudulent behavior on Wall Street, particularly in banking will continue. Of course their [CEO's] lap dogs, the Republicans in Congress will make certain they are shielded from prosecution. They’ll also make sure the watchdog agencies are underfunded which will keep these crooks out of the courts and jail.

Mad Max

November 30th, 2011
12:43 pm

Gator Joe, whose administration is in charge? Your boy Obama is either missing in action and not providing leadership, or maybe he agrees with the SEC’s handling of it?

ken

November 30th, 2011
12:47 pm

The same SEC people that ” Watched ” Berni

getalife

November 30th, 2011
12:47 pm

Wow, I judge that is not corrupt.

Good for him.

Get Real

November 30th, 2011
12:50 pm

When does Bwaney Fwank got to jail?

too little time

November 30th, 2011
12:50 pm

Hundreds of people went to jail for the S&L debacle of the late 80s.

Nobody has gone to jail for the mortgage securities fraud and subsequent collapse of the entire economy of the 2008.

This illustrates yet another failure of the current presidential administration.

scully

November 30th, 2011
12:51 pm

I continue to be disgusted with the big banks and those who defend their criminal behavior. I loathe sending my credit card payments to them. Economic slavery. If only I could afford to pay them off once and for all.

too little time

November 30th, 2011
12:52 pm

p.s. A Republican administration presided over prosecutions from the previous banking debacle. That should settle any debate on what Republicans “might” or “will” do.

JamVet

November 30th, 2011
12:53 pm

So for 30 straight years, the GOP has orchestrated, via executive signing order, legislation and court rulings the supreme power of corporations. Sensible regulations were gutted wholesale and new laws enacted that made these white collar criminals untouchable.

And NOW, out of the blue, the neo-cons have become suddenly fiscally responsible and tough on white collar crime???

Puhleeze.

They got what they worked relentlessly for and now that it stinks to high heaven and has needlessly ruined millions of American families, they continue their long track record of cowardice, deflection and utter irresponsibility.

“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

You’re doing a heckuva job, connies…

Mad Max

November 30th, 2011
12:55 pm

Jamvet’s been drinking the koolaid again.

Get Real

November 30th, 2011
12:57 pm

Mad Max….I was just about to post the exact same comment…

getalife

November 30th, 2011
12:57 pm

“One of the reasons I ran for President was because I believed so strongly that the voices of everyday Americans, hardworking folks doing everything they can to stay afloat, just weren’t being heard over the powerful voices of the special interests in Washington. And the result was a national agenda too often skewed in favor of those with the power to tilt the tables.

In my first year in office, we pushed back on that power by implementing historic reforms to get rid of the influence of those special interests. On my first day in office, we closed the revolving door between lobbying firms and the government so that no one in my administration would make decisions based on the interests of former or future employers. We barred gifts from federal lobbyists to executive branch officials. We imposed tough restrictions to prevent funds for our recovery from lining the pockets of the well-connected, instead of creating jobs for Americans. And for the first time in history, we have publicly disclosed the names of lobbyists and non-lobbyists alike who visit the White House every day, so that you know what’s going on in the White House – the people’s house.

We’ve been making steady progress. But this week, the United States Supreme Court handed a huge victory to the special interests and their lobbyists – and a powerful blow to our efforts to rein in corporate influence. This ruling strikes at our democracy itself. By a 5-4 vote, the Court overturned more than a century of law – including a bipartisan campaign finance law written by Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold that had barred corporations from using their financial clout to directly interfere with elections by running advertisements for or against candidates in the crucial closing weeks.

This ruling opens the floodgates for an unlimited amount of special interest money into our democracy. It gives the special interest lobbyists new leverage to spend millions on advertising to persuade elected officials to vote their way – or to punish those who don’t. That means that any public servant who has the courage to stand up to the special interests and stand up for the American people can find himself or herself under assault come election time. Even foreign corporations may now get into the act.

I can’t think of anything more devastating to the public interest. The last thing we need to do is hand more influence to the lobbyists in Washington, or more power to the special interests to tip the outcome of elections.

All of us, regardless of party, should be worried that it will be that much harder to get fair, common-sense financial reforms, or close unwarranted tax loopholes that reward corporations from sheltering their income or shipping American jobs off-shore.

It will make it more difficult to pass commonsense laws to promote energy independence because even foreign entities would be allowed to mix in our elections.

It would give the health insurance industry even more leverage to fend off reforms that would protect patients.

We don’t need to give any more voice to the powerful interests that already drown out the voices of everyday Americans.

And we don’t intend to. When this ruling came down, I instructed my administration to get to work immediately with Members of Congress willing to fight for the American people to develop a forceful, bipartisan response to this decision. We have begun that work, and it will be a priority for us until we repair the damage that has been done.

A hundred years ago, one of the great Republican Presidents, Teddy Roosevelt, fought to limit special interest spending and influence over American political campaigns and warned of the impact of unbridled, corporate spending. His message rings as true as ever today, in this age of mass communications, when the decks are too often stacked against ordinary Americans. And as long as I’m your President, I’ll never stop fighting to make sure that the most powerful voice in Washington belongs to you.”

Corrupt congress won that battle and cons like max blame the wrong ones.

JamVet

November 30th, 2011
12:57 pm

So manup Mad Meat, and make your oh so compelling case that what I wrote is incorrect.

Yeah, riiiight.

LOL at sock pockets/hot puppets…

Brosephus

November 30th, 2011
12:59 pm

Way to go Judge Rakoff. It’s time for the pilaging and plundering of the American public to end. If you think it’s a Democrat or Republican thing, then you’re part of the problem and definitely clueless when it comes to the solution. Elected officials have sold us out for so long now, things that we would lambaste as corruption in other countries is considered the way of doing business here in the US. That in itself is a damn shame and shows how tolerant of corruption we have become.

stands for decibels

November 30th, 2011
12:59 pm

It always drives me nuts to see stories to the effect that “Corporation X agreed Thursday to pay a $500 gazillion penalty to settle federal fraud charges, but the company admitted no wrongdoing.”

Jay, you just have to lie back and think of England.

Jay

November 30th, 2011
1:01 pm

Let’s not make it personal, folks.

JamVet

November 30th, 2011
1:03 pm

stands, these slap on the wrist fines are just the cost of doing business for the banksters at BoA, Citi, Chase et al and then environmental crimes unleashed by BP, Haliburton, Transocean, etc…

ByteMe

November 30th, 2011
1:03 pm

It always drives me nuts to see stories to the effect that “Corporation X agreed Thursday to pay a $500 gazillion penalty to settle federal fraud charges, but the company admitted no wrongdoing.”

More like “Corporation X agreed Thursday to pay a $50 penalty to settle federal fraud charges.” No gazillions are EVER involved. Perp walk the crooks!!

Mad Max

November 30th, 2011
1:03 pm

Jamvet – so according to you, the Dems have never partaken in this activity. To quote you PUHLEEZE! And according to your statement the courts are puppets of the GOP, and I guess Barney Frank was heterosexual and a Republican as he wheeled and dealed and protected Fannie.

Kamchak

November 30th, 2011
1:04 pm

Tick…tick…tick….

Jefferson

November 30th, 2011
1:10 pm

The should jail the CEO.

Kamchak

November 30th, 2011
1:11 pm

Get Red?

or

Get Yellow?

GT/MIT

November 30th, 2011
1:18 pm

Judge lambastes deal in Wall Street fraud case
12:22 pm November 30, 2011, by Jay

“It always drives me nuts to see stories to the effect that “Corporation X agreed Thursday to pay a $500 gazillion penalty to settle federal fraud charges, but the company admitted no wrongdoing.”

“Apparently, U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York agrees with me.”

Finally, something halfway sensible from the left field bleachers. I doubt Judge Rakoff’s
decision anything to do with you however. (can’t agree totally cause it makes me feel a little
pink) You do of course realize that the agreement reached with the SEC, is the very same
entity that couldn’t connect the dots in Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme.

Mad Max

November 30th, 2011
1:18 pm

Jamvet – You are right, I have to get back to work. I agree there is a problem with fraud but what is the Obama administration doing about it? Answer – He’s too busy campaigning, buying votes, catering to special interest groups and denying private sector investment (the pipeline, Gulf drilling).

Swami Dave

November 30th, 2011
1:21 pm

So Jay is proposing that we further empower the same raid-and-invade behavior of ACCUSED (but not convicted) American businesses that was exhibited by the Federal Government in the case of Gibson Guitars.

Link To Story

In this case (or pair of cases), Gibson has been raided twice (the first time over two years ago) and as of now (years and months laters) has not even been CHARGED with wrongdoing. In the case of the raid from two years ago, their confiscated property is still be held by government officials.

So no Jay, empowering bureaucrats who could be influenced by political leadership to launch investigations and interrupt actions to the flow of business for American companies without due process is not a good idea.

Maybe if you and the judge are upset at this agreement, you should spend your time addressing your grievances with the current occupant of the WHITE HOUSE whose appointee RUNS the SEC instead of continuing to blame others for THEIR inability to effectively do THEIR job! Either that or you can join with many of us who recognizing his ill-preparedness and incompetency are working to see him replaced by someone better.

Either way – we win.

-SD

Brosephus

November 30th, 2011
1:25 pm

Ok Jay, was there yellow or red card that I missed somewhere???

Mary Elizabeth

November 30th, 2011
1:26 pm

“And while the Obama administration has requested additional funding for the SEC and its sister agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, House Republicans have refused to approve that request, preferring to keep the Wall Street watchdogs toothless and on a short leash.”

———————————————

Blatant greed explosed. Greed has always been a large part of human weakness, but since the 1980s, its impact has permeated too many minds, and too many institutions, within our nation.

Midori

November 30th, 2011
1:27 pm

Mary Elizabeth

November 30th, 2011
1:27 pm

Exposed, not explosed.

Brosephus

November 30th, 2011
1:30 pm

Midori

I saw that on the news yesterday and just shook my head. What kind of world do we live in when a bank is pressing to foreclose on a 103 yr old and 83 yr old when someone else took out the mortgage. If I could do so, I’d pay it off myself. That’s just a damn shame and people should be ashamed of themselves for even the thought of doing that.

Ross Perot

November 30th, 2011
1:30 pm

It must be the end of the world. I agreed with Jay 100% on this issue.

JamVet

November 30th, 2011
1:31 pm

Max @1:18, tell me something I don’t already know, OK?

From very early in his presidency, I’ve written extensively about how he is George Jr, in this regard.

I wrote then that he is pro-war, pro-corporation, anti-working class.

Otherwise he would have decided to attempt to prosecute these thieves and shysters and tried to implement REAL changes to clean up Wall Street and reign in this massive corporate crime wave that has run almost untouched for decades now.

Instead he decided “to look forward”.

Now, don’t you agree that your silly misrepresentation of my position at 1:03 was really dumb?

Kamchak

November 30th, 2011
1:32 pm

Hiya, Midori! :wink:

From your link: Family members said they had enough money to pay the loan, but were having a difficult time getting Chase to accept a payment.

Sounds like the bank wouldn’t take “yes” for an answer.

Stonethrower

November 30th, 2011
1:34 pm

While we play the blame Bush blame Obama game, the banksters will continue to reap much but sow little. Nothing to see here folks. We can all go back to watching our entertainment and sports while Rome burns.

williebkind

November 30th, 2011
1:36 pm

Lets take the billion dollars from Obama’s election campaign and use it to replace the lost defense funds. I know tax the main stream media at 90%.

Welcome to the Occupation

November 30th, 2011
1:37 pm

JamVet says it well (1:31).

Obama. like his party, is Republican/conservative lite. Period.

The two party system in this country is a convenient ploy by the ruling class to play good cop, bad cop and ensure that nothing about the current power structure is challenged. Lip service to progressive goals is the carrot, but blackmail is the real stick that keeps things always the same.

williebkind

November 30th, 2011
1:37 pm

Oh yeah and put Barney Frank in jail! He did far more than Liddy!

williebkind

November 30th, 2011
1:40 pm

“Blatant greed explosed. Greed has always been a large part of human weakness, but since the 1980s, its impact has permeated too many minds, and too many institutions, within our nation.”

Greed envy is exponentially worse!

Kamchak

November 30th, 2011
1:44 pm

Looks like someone has Barney Frank envy.

Just sayin’.

JamVet

November 30th, 2011
1:45 pm

Joe Hussein Mama

November 30th, 2011
1:45 pm

Kamchak — “Looks like someone has Barney Frank envy.”

I bet old Barney gets more than willie does. :D

Libertarian

November 30th, 2011
1:51 pm

Where does the penalty money go now? Back into the bottomless pit of government?

Midori

November 30th, 2011
1:51 pm

Kamchak

November 30th, 2011
1:51 pm

Brother AmVet

I got flurries off and on all day yesterday, but saw nothing significant. I missed a white Xmas up here last year ’cause I came back to the ATL for the family Xmas thingie.

USMC

November 30th, 2011
1:54 pm

Obama is the least intelligent President in U.S. History; a complete Buffoon!

Obama Doesn’t know the difference between Great Britain and England!
http://blog.heritage.org/2011/11/29/does-obama-know-the-difference-between-great-britain-and-england/

Unbelievable! :-)

USMC

November 30th, 2011
1:58 pm

Jm

November 30th, 2011
1:58 pm

Jay
Forget about resources
SEC might lose

Kamchak

November 30th, 2011
2:00 pm

Ooooh, the Heritage Foundation and the daily Ragamuffin report on the second page of the thread!

Cool beans!

Jm

November 30th, 2011
2:00 pm

Btw
I do think it would be better to take it all the way thru the courts

Buy keep in mind, citi knew all the loopholes and could likely win

stands for decibels

November 30th, 2011
2:01 pm

Jm

November 30th, 2011
2:02 pm

I have only two questions for Romney

What would he do about the carried interest tax advantages?

And what would he do about entitlements?

Tells you all you would need to know.

Steve - USA

November 30th, 2011
2:03 pm

The SEC should be properly funded.

The “cut of the money they recover” idea is terrible and would lead to abuse. That would be like a cop getting a $10 bonus for every person they pepper sprayed.

Jm

November 30th, 2011
2:03 pm

American airlines

Another great American company destroyed by unions

Ross Perot

November 30th, 2011
2:03 pm

williebkind

November 30th, 2011
2:04 pm

Joe Hussein Mama

November 30th, 2011
1:45 pm
I am sure he does but who wants what he gets…hmmm…maybe you!

williebkind

November 30th, 2011
2:07 pm

stands for decibels

November 30th, 2011
2:01 pm

What if they point out that gay representatives are not competent?

JamVet

November 30th, 2011
2:07 pm

stands, in one of the more ironic of the right wing’s almost wholesale hypocrisy, Larry “Wide Stance” Craig served on the House Ethics Committee which in 1989 led an extended effort that pushed for more severe punishment of Representative Barney Frank for his involvement in a gay prostitution scandal.

Tommy Maddox

November 30th, 2011
2:08 pm

This is the kind of stuff that should get someone locked up – not my bailiwick but someone needs to swing for something.

Steve - USA

November 30th, 2011
2:08 pm

I think people are putting far to much energy into making a big deal if a politician from any party misspeaks on occasion. Concentrate on the 99.9% of what they say and not the .1%

JMHO

williebkind

November 30th, 2011
2:09 pm

JamVet

November 30th, 2011
2:07 pm

And that was bad?

Kamchak

November 30th, 2011
2:09 pm

First a Heritage link, then a Ragamuffin link and now The Weakly Standard

Definitely a red-letter day in my diary!

JamVet

November 30th, 2011
2:10 pm

willie, not sure of your question? Would you rephrase, please?

Michael

November 30th, 2011
2:11 pm

I hate it when a friend or colleague talks you into something and then, when it goes bad, they stand back and say that you’re an adult and no one forced you to partake.

Ross Perot

November 30th, 2011
2:11 pm

Definitely a red-letter day in my diary! Says Kamchak, as he turns the page in his Rolling Stone magazine.

stands for decibels

November 30th, 2011
2:12 pm

Larry “Wide Stance” Craig served on the House Ethics Committee which in 1989 led an extended effort

uh… huh huh…

You said “extend.”

stands for decibels

November 30th, 2011
2:13 pm

The “cut of the money they recover” idea is terrible and would lead to abuse. That would be like a cop getting a $10 bonus for every person they pepper sprayed.

I think Jay was just being shrill.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

November 30th, 2011
2:13 pm

Aw, heck, it was just a few hundred million. The co. was just trying to unload some bad investments and stay afloat. Happens all the time in business. Otherwise it would of had to do what so many other businesses do, change its name once it gets a bad rep with the public.

This judge must be a Socialist Commie. And he’s got not sense of humor. This co. move to unload bad securities on the public and then bet against the public sounds pretty slick to me. Don’t nobody appreciate slick business moves anymore? It’s what sets American businesses apart from other businesses.

stands for decibels

November 30th, 2011
2:14 pm

What if they point out that gay representatives are not competent?

what, like they’re still “practicing” homosexuals after all these years, and still aren’t doing it right?

that kind of “incompetent?”

williebkind

November 30th, 2011
2:16 pm

“willie, not sure of your question? Would you rephrase, please?”

“stands, in one of the more ironic of the right wing’s almost wholesale hypocrisy, Larry “Wide Stance” Craig served on the House Ethics Committee which in 1989 led an extended effort that pushed for more severe punishment of Representative Barney Frank for his involvement in a gay prostitution scandal.”

So punishing a prostitution ring is bad if it is against homosexuals but OK if it was like the prostitution ring where all the congressman called the Madam in DC for entertainment. I get you!

Barney Frank was incompetent, vile, and disgusting.

Adam

November 30th, 2011
2:18 pm

In other words, it knowingly created and peddled a bad investment to its clients, and then bet against those clients that the investment would fail.

Quiz time! What law was passed and then later repealed that allowed this to happen? Anyone?

williebkind

November 30th, 2011
2:18 pm

stands for decibels

November 30th, 2011
2:14 pm
What? Is that tumor in your brain doing more harm?

Jm

November 30th, 2011
2:19 pm

The public policy question is: do you want a banking system or not?

Because right now the president and the FDIC are driving the business into the ditch

And without a banking system, you can’t have prosperity

Like it or not

williebkind

November 30th, 2011
2:19 pm

That is a good question Adam and I do not know!

stands for decibels

November 30th, 2011
2:19 pm

Anyway, if you tighty-rightie trolls really want to get Jay’s goat, you ought to be annoying him about this, not the usual political BS.

barking frog

November 30th, 2011
2:19 pm

Jm, Bankers do not have to be criminals…

Adam

November 30th, 2011
2:20 pm

Personally, I think we ought to consider solving the funding problem by giving the SEC and CFTC a cut of the money that they recover, just as other law-enforcement agencies get a cut of what they recover in drug-trafficking cases. That’s “running government like a business,” right? If you want them to do a good job, you give them a financial incentive to do their job more aggressively.

I Like… No, I LOVE this idea

Jerome Horwitz

November 30th, 2011
2:21 pm

And so is Larry “Wide Stance” Craig.

Adam

November 30th, 2011
2:21 pm

USMC: Your DEFLECTor shileds need an upgrade. They have ceased to function properly.

Adam

November 30th, 2011
2:23 pm

Jm: Because right now the president and the FDIC are driving the business into the ditch

I assume you have some evidence to back this statement up right?

Oh who am I kidding….

barking frog

November 30th, 2011
2:23 pm

There is certainly nothing wrong with giving all the fines in
SEC cases to the SEC to prosecute more cases…

Joe Hussein Mama

November 30th, 2011
2:25 pm

williebkind — “I am sure he does but who wants what he gets…hmmm…maybe you!”

I’m afraid I have to let both you and Barney down easy. My wife says I can’t fool around with guys. :D

williebkind

November 30th, 2011
2:25 pm

I agree with the judge that when corporate ceo’s or Bankers engage in deceit of the public that a huge penalty should be levied on the culprits.

HDB

November 30th, 2011
2:25 pm

Jm
November 30th, 2011
2:03 pm

“American Airlines: Another great American company destroyed by unions”

That is so BOGUS!! Having been in the airline industry, I can state that the UNIONS weren’t the cause!! The unions GAVE BACK billions to keep American flying….it was primarily FUEL COSTS….and the computer programs used to hedge AA’s costs didn’t factor in all pertinent factors!!

AA could’ve gone Chapter 11 right after 9/11 like all of the major carriers did (DL/NW/UA…), but under Robert Crandall, they DIDN’T…..stating that they could control their costs without reorganization!!

You need to know the TRUTH….rather than drinking the kool-aid!!

williebkind

November 30th, 2011
2:26 pm

Joe Hussein Mama

November 30th, 2011
2:25 pm
Good for her! She sounds like a lady.

Jm

November 30th, 2011
2:26 pm

Barking frog

I agree. Almost all bankers are not criminals

Are some more of them unethical? Yep

Let me know when there is an Ethics Enforcement Commission. With teeth. For banks or congress.

Joe Hussein Mama

November 30th, 2011
2:27 pm

williebkind — “Barney Frank was . . . vile, and disgusting.”

So’s my wife, when she’s doing it right.

Adam

November 30th, 2011
2:28 pm

HDB: You need to know the TRUTH….rather than drinking the kool-aid!!

Tea. They’re drinking tea. The hot yellow kind.

Jm

November 30th, 2011
2:28 pm

USB

American airlines labor costs are $800 million higher due to outsized labor union costs

Fact

williebkind

November 30th, 2011
2:29 pm

HDB:
“it was primarily FUEL COSTS”

Now we have finally admitted to the cost of going green! Do you despise the $3 plus a gallon for gas too? Yep green energy is really going to cost Americans a lot more and it was pushed onto us by the liberals.

HDB

November 30th, 2011
2:30 pm

Adam
November 30th, 2011
2:18 pm

Glass-Stegall……the repeal was pushed through Congress by Phil Gramm (R-TX)……that was the beginning of the end of oversight of the financial industry!!

JamVet

November 30th, 2011
2:32 pm

“So punishing a prostitution ring is bad if it is against homosexuals but OK if it was like the prostitution ring where all the congressman called the Madam in DC for entertainment. I get you!”

What the hell are you babbling on about now?

My point was Craig’s hypocrisy…

Adam

November 30th, 2011
2:33 pm

HDB: Thank you for answering the question with notes! It was, in fact, Glass-Stegall. We need to either reinstate that or get a law passed that is close to it. But GOP will not support such a measure, for sure.

getalife

November 30th, 2011
2:35 pm

Will this change anything?

No, it will be ignored but there is a movement to change it.

Fine them a trillion for the deficit.

HDB

November 30th, 2011
2:36 pm

Jm
November 30th, 2011
2:28 pm

Actually, the highest-paid airline was UNITED…..their costs were higher than American….and Delta has a clause in the pilots’ contract that they are to be the highest-paid in the industry…by $1!!

williebkind
November 30th, 2011
2:29 pm

Actually, it’s the competition for fuel between the airlines and trucking!! JET-A is actually diesel fuel!!
Being able to convert to “green” energy will allow some of that home heating oil in the Northeast to be diverted to making diesel fuel….and the costs would DECLINE!! A short-term increase now….but a LONG TERM DECLINING EFFECT!! In fact, I’m going total electric…so that I can work towards making my house solar and wind powered!!! That’ll make my energy usage decline!!!