Bernard Madoff
Bernard Madoff
Will there ever be anyone from Wall Street arrested for their roll in the financial meltdown? My wife is right. She says I think too much. I like to analyze things too deeply and I ask too many questions. Maybe she is right; perhaps I do ask too many questions. After all why would anyone want to know answers to anything, right? OK, now that I have admitted my short falls, I have a couple of questions, (I’m at it again). It has been over a year now since we’ve seen one of the greatest recessions in the history of our great nation. We have witnessed millions of Americans who have lost home values and their retirement savings have either plunged to near zero and many jobs simply fell off the radar scope. We have yet to see anyone fingered on Wall Street for their roll in this financial crisis. Those who were “players” before – are still “players” today, life is good and the bonuses keep rolling.

Yes, there are plenty of civil class action lawsuits from investors who have lost either everything or close to everything. Now we have seen regulators doing a better job. One question I have concerning the regulators would be, if you are doing a better job now, what were you doing before? Obviously you were not doing your job then, next question, why are you still employed? Is it because you just started doing what you should have doing all along, did you return the money you were paid during the time you were not doing your job? I guess that is really too many questions to be asking, sorry, my fault.

Enron CFO Jeff Skilling
Enron CFO Jeff Skilling

We have seen some arrests and a few federal convictions of financial giants such as Bernard Madoff and Stanford Financial Group chairman Robert Allen Stanford. Did they ruin the lives and futures of many investors? Absolutely, they did! We need to remind ourselves though these two individuals were not the cause, nor were they among the ones who caused the financial meltdown that affected an entire nation. It seems to me that a lot of people who are responsible have, and are – getting very rich in this overall process.

There are many today, myself included, who view the absence of any arrest in this national scandal as a gross injustice to the American people. Even during the great depression there was Samuel Insull, railroad and electricity magnate, who was a villain of that era. Then during the savings and loan fiasco of the 1980’s there was banker Charles Keating. Even the spectacular collapse of Enron the late CEO Kenneth Lay was offered up for sacrifice and his partner Jeff Skilling is still sitting in jail.

Charles Keating
Charles Keating

I think if I were Madoff, Skilling and Keating I would be mad as hell right now. Just to know while they are paying the price for their sins, there are others who have committed much larger sins on Wall Street and still enjoying bonuses and lavish lifestyles. What about Angelo Mozilo, CEO of mortgage lending giant Countrywide? Yep, Mozilo is still living the good life with high powered attorneys keeping the law dogs at bay.

Yes, I think if I were Bernie M. I would be mad. After all, the Fed and Treasury did nothing more then he was doing. They took our money and gave it to “friends” on Wall Street who were to blame for the downfall in the first place. In one way it was the same as Madoff was doing with his clients, while those in charge of watching were certainly not doing their jobs. Today not only do we have the same “players” doing the same thing, but now we have a new infusion of our money. This time it is with the blessings of the agencies in charge of keeping “law and order.”

Is it really just me or do you also see it? Have we fallen into a vacuum where it is alright to do wrong and not have to worry about paying the price? All of this seems to have a little “smell” to it. After giving this a little thought please take a “sniff”, if it seems to smell to you also, please let me know. Until I hear from you I am not going to be asking too many questions, I promise.

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