$1.2 billion dollars misplaced? (Society’s Slideshow)

Yet another harbinger of our current economic times has attracted national attention, and is sure to add fresh fuel to the Occupy Movement fire.

John Corzine, a former democratic U.S. Senator and also former chairman and CEO of MF Global is claiming that he has no idea what happened to $1.2 billion dollars of his clients’ money, according to bottomline.msnbc.msn.com.

“I was stunned when I was told on Sunday, October 30, 2011, that MF Global could not account for many hundreds of millions of dollars of client money. I remain deeply concerned about the impact that the reconciled and frozen funds have had on MF Global’s customers and others,” Corzine said in the article.

The article goes on to reveal that the company went bankrupt resulting from what it refers to repeatedly as “bad bets on European debt.” Since when did Wall Street become the new Las Vegas?

Corzine may be shocked at the amount of money that was lost, but the public may find it less than coincidental that his finance career involved five years as CEO of Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs is now famous for betting against mortgages that it knew could never be paid back and making a handsome profit from foreclosed homes in the bond market.

I have always puzzled at the ability of financiers and politicians to lose track of money for which they are supposed to be responsible custodians. I was always under the impression that banks were beholden to the fiduciary interests of its customers.

I might be able to understand if they lost $10, $1,000 or even $10,000. But $1.2 billion dollars is a different story. If I was given $1,000 a day seven days a week, it would take me over 3,000 years to accumulate $1.2 billion.

It is evident that Corzine will most likely be added to a very long list of people who feel their fiduciary responsibility is only to their already inflated bank accounts and super-fat pocketbooks. They feel they are justified in creating irresponsible gambling schemes to get rich quick. They also feel that if they fail, they shouldn’t have to pay for it.

The financiers believe that what they are doing does not amount to gambling because they use complex mathematical formulas to figure out how they can make the most money in the fastest way possible. However, sitting in front of a slot machine in MGM Grand and using derivatives to figure out how much money to wager on the next press of the button generally results in criminal charges.

So, why aren’t these top financiers facing criminal charges? Why are they able to falsely represent what their accounting ledgers to governmental watchdog agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission?

The answer to those questions are simple. The former answer boils down to the incredible sums they donate to the campaign funds of key politicians’ campaign funds. The answer to the latter question is that most of the people who work for the SEC were at one time involved in the very schemes that they are supposed to regulate. Many people who work for both the SEC and the Federal Reserve were former Goldman Sachs employees. Anyone smell a conflict of interest?

There is no doubt that the cards have been stacked in favor of large corporations and big banks. United States v. FEC ensured that they could donate as much money as they want to political action committees, who in turn run the campaigns of all the politicians who are supposed to be creating regulations to prevent the sorts of behavior that caused the 2008 mortgage bubble and its inevitable burst.

In turn, politicians are beholden to the interests of the corporations who finance them because they realize that in today’s media-driven society, those who have the least advertising purchasing power tend to lose elections. All corporations have to do in theory is threaten to take their funding to another candidate if the incumbent won’t see things their way.

Even when legislators stand up in the face of these weasels, the first thing they do is claim that regulations interfere with their business practices. They also hint about as subtly as an oncoming train that if these regulations weren’t in place, they might be able to hire more people. If the regulations go away, they blame the politicians for not regulating their practices and say “Shame on you for not telling us that gambling away other people’s money is not right.”

Enough is enough. The government should first change their campaign finance laws to strip corporations of their election purchasing power. They should immediately follow this with the prosecution of these criminals in courts of law. If I can’t go to Greektown Casino and expect the taxpayers of Detroit to reimburse me when I lose big at the $10,ooo a hand table, banks shouldn’t be able to get reimbursed, either.

The government needs to get proactive to release the stranglehold banks and corporate CEO’s have on our country. If they don’t, they will most certainly drive us into another Great Depression and then tell us we should have told them that bankrupting America for their own profit is not a nice thing to do.

Leave a Reply