In Iceland 26 Bankers Are Serving Time Behind Bars
In the United States, bankers seem to have received “Get Out of Jail Free” cards for their transgressions. In tiny Iceland, on the other hand, a group of bankers are serving a combined seventy-four years of hard time. And today, five more bankers from Glitnir Bank are being charged.
Here are four more stories from The Iceland Review of that spunky little country’s unwillingness to put up with banking fraud:
Now those felonious clowns who packaged all those weird mortgage securities in 2008 and earlier should be doing hard time in stir in one of our fine prisons, where protecting one’s ass is a full-time occupation. Why Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have not hauled them in is a travesty of justice.
Enron’s Ken Lay—Convicted But Died Before Sentencing
There is one class of people who are almost untouchable when they commit economic crimes while at the helm of their companies: I am referring to Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), to which I might also add Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Chief Operating Officers (COOs). To date, there has been no major prosecutions of the bank and securities firms CEOs who were responsible for the Great Recession of 2008—despite the fact that they, in many cases, knowingly put together subprime mortgage securities backed (essentially) by hope and pixie dust.
There have been cases of CEOs who have served time (or are serving time). These include:
- Jeff Skilling, Enron
- Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
- Sanjay Kumar, Computer Associates
- Dennis Kozlowski, Tyco
- John Rigas, Adelphia
- Martin L. Grass, Rite-Aid
- Joseph Nacchio, Qwest
- Walter Forbes, Cendant
- Richard Scrushy, HealthSouth
- Bernie Ebbers, WorldCom
Ken Lay of Enron would have joined that list, but he died of a heart attack before sentencing. For more information about the above, click here.
There are class action suits, but these have a way of punishing the innocent and leaving the guilty scot-free. For one thing, it is the shareholders who suffer, not the executives. In many cases, it is the shareholders who have initiated the cases and suffer from the resulting devaluation of their securities. And probably the biggest beneficiaries are law firms specializing in class action cases. These boys make out like bandits.
Whether CEOs wind up doing the perp walk is not the main point. I would be happy to see blame ascribed and large fines levied.
In many parts of the United States, there is a class of males usually referred to as Good Ol’ Boys. We have become accustomed to letting these Good Ol’ Boys have a “Get Out of Jail Free” card whenever they step across the line. But what happens when these same erring Good Ol’ Boys are the police, mayors, judges, and district attorneys. The result is injustice, and lately, injustice on a large scale.
The Internet has been used too often to convey outrage. Today, in this post, I want to convey sadness. The strange death of Sandra Bland (pictured above) troubles me. Why should someone so young and so beautiful end her life in a jail cell by hanging herself with a plastic garbage bag. Oh, it could have been someone older and uglier and fatter, and the injustice would have been the same. But there is an added poignancy for someone who should have had a rich, full life.
I don’t know whether Sandra suffered some massive affront to her dignity that caused her to commit suicide—or whether she was “helped” by Good Ol’ Boys wearing badges. The facts have not come out yet. I’m just saying that this should not have happened whatever the circumstances.
If the Good Ol’ Boys turn out in the end to have been evil malefactors, they should suffer the full consequences.