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Wall Street bankers are staring agog at headlines coming from Europe where, in Iceland, the former chief executive of one of the largest banks in the country which was involved in crashing the economy in 2008 has been sentenced to jail time. As Valuewalk reports, in receiving a one year prison sentence, Sigurjon Arnason officially became the first bank executive to be convicted of manipulating the bank’s stock price and deceiving investors, creditors and the authorities between Sept. 29 and Oct. 3, 2008, as the bank’s fortunes unwound, crashing the economy with it. It appears he was as shocked by the verdict as Wall Street-ers are, "this sentence is a big surprise to me as I did nothing wrong."
I am writing to you to ask if you are aware of any plans within the government, to begin prosecutions against those responsible for the LIBOR and FOREX scandals (and any subsequent financial rigging scandals)?
The reason I ask, as I have heard so many people ask and wonder about in recent times, is that we are talking about fraud on a massive scale. A conman conning a little old lady out of a few hundred pounds will be plastered across the press as evil incarnate, yet it always seems that those conning entire countries out of money are given a government approved “get out of jail free card”. Despite all the wrongdoing and, lets be quite honest here, criminal behaviour, not one bank executive has seen the inside of a police car, let alone a jail cell.
Surely we are talking about organised crime here, on a huge scale, yet the punishment meted out is a fine (some or part tax deductible?) which is recouped soon enough anyway and the costs passed on to the customers. I see too that as punishment, the “regulators” as talking about the banker’s bonuses being capped at 200% of salary. Well now, that’ll sure teach them the error of their ways and ensure they won’t be naughty again!
I thought the proceeds of organised crime were to be seized – houses, flash cars, cash etc. So far, all we have seen is those guilty of this massive fraud being perpetrated upon the people of the world, not just the UK, being rewarded for their crimes and let off with a stern word or two. Isn’t it about time that all those committing the crimes, and those at the top of the ladder, the executives, whose salaries and bonuses are also tied to the institution’s performance, are placed in jail and have all they own seized as the profits of organised crime? After all, the executives are guilty too of profiting. They know where the money is being made and turn a blind eye, but profit from it personally.
Time to take the gloves off and start issuing harsh sentences and asset seizures I think, and many would agree. The excuse that is always trotted out, that we can’t be too harsh as all the top bankers would leave the city of London, is laughable. I mean, seriously, they have not exactly done a stellar job in the past and have shown their greed and utter contempt for the country and the people within it. Another bailout for the boys and it’s off to the club for a large one!
A crime is a crime, no matter who the perpetrator is or their perceived importance. We either uphold the letter of the law, in all cases, and have justice meted out equally across the board, or none at all.
I’d be interested to hear your views on the punishments for high financial crimes, and the government’s justification for the apparent non-prosecutorial approach.
originally posted by: bjarneorn
a reply to: signalfire
Yes, do like the Nazis ... blame it on the Jews (bankers).
What about that big guy, called King David, who went on stage and hailed the Vikings for doing the countries work.