After the Meltdown: tracking the fortunes reaped by the bankers who tanked the economy


#1

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#2

In the merchant republic of Venice, where modern banking was essentially born during the Renaissance, if the leading moneylenders had ended up ruining the economy of the republic, they'd have been put to death, either via a public execution at the hands of the state or a private one at the hands of a band of Condottieri.

Today they get away clean, the richest men in the world, beholden to no one, too big to fail. A sure sign that we live in far more enlightened times.


#3

Surprising that a woman known for sensibly frugal housekeeping tips would wind up at the Plaza.


#4

You're talking about highly qualified individuals with unique skills. If they aren't compensated at competitive industry rates they'll take their talents to some other endeavor that can use them, like slaughtering pigs or making animal-stomp porn.


#5

You just gotta wonder if it crosses their minds once in a while that, if the justice system came down upon them, there are a great many otherwise peaceful citizens that would gladly throw the switch themselves. That hundreds of thousands, if not millions, wish a pox on them and their families.


#6

I actually imagine they're almost all entirely oblivious to that notion - that they're just too slick and got away too cleanly, that they couldn't possibly be held accountable, or worse still, that they didn't actually do anything wrong.


#7

one wonders why what they did is still legal.


#8

As much as I'd like to read the series, I'd rather not waste a delightful dinner on the rage vomit, and sacrifice a good night's sleep and digestion. Perhaps I'll read it tomorrow and take it easy on solids and posting on the web.


#9

...or why it ever was legal?


#10

I think you're sadly mistaken if you think they care about the proles at all, as long as they're pacified.


#11

It was most certainly not legal. Thats just a part of the big lie. The laws are simply not being enforced. Just look at the drug cartel money laundering that was "discovered" to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars over the past year. No one prosecuted. No one jailed. The massive securities and mortgage fraud at the heart of the housing disaster: no one prosecuted or jailed. No law enforcement if you are powerful.


#12

Does anyone else see the resemblance of these guys' career paths and the shell game of Tarquin's Empires of Blood, of Sweat, and of Tears in The Order of the Stick webcomic? Rule one corrupted mercantile empire, then move on to the next one? A pity that Narrative Causality doesn't have as much sway in this universe.


#13

Since these people will never be punished in real life I (somewhat pathetically) wish that somehow, someone, somewhere would make a well budgeted film about a modern proletarian uprising with majestic, awe-inspiring scenes of these people being hunted down and dragged into the streets. I envision the lot of them hiding Saddam Hussein style in their wine cellars and pleading Qadafi style "what did I ever do to you??" as people's justice is meted out upon them. I would laugh, I would cry tears of joy. I would leap out of my seat sending popcorn everywhere. Then after the credits roll I'd crawl home through the stinking filth of the plutocracy momentarily entertained.


#14

If the average investor decided to not put their money into companies run by people who extract compensation many orders of magnitude above the average worker despite running the company into the ground, then this wouldn't happen so easily. But that doesn't seem likely to happen in this lifetime.


#15

They will not live forever and, because they can't take the money with them it will go somewhere. It is funny how this could end up meaning a flood of money for worthy charity at some extended point in the future as aged criminals or their heirs work out their fear of hell. A twisted and accidental re-distribution of wealth at the expense of the middle-class.


#16

I doubt it. There will be heirs and some form of fuckery that persists after their demise.

Here's a prime example:

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/the-poorest-rich-kids-in-the-world-20130812

http://www.coloradonewsday.com/national/5903-doris-duke-heirs-mother-daisha-inman-used-swat-team-to-prevent-herself-being-served-legal-papers.html


#17

Fractional Reserve lending is ridiculous, and must end. It's a literal licence to print money.


#18

The "average investor" hardly exists anymore. Big funds and automated buyers are chasing only the dollars, not the sense.

One big driver of this silliness is the "pension" funds - our money that we must invest in the Market to survive. However we have no control over where that flood of money goes or who sucks from it. This is now the major food source for our financial parasites.

Whaddayagonnado, eh? Fix the system, not the people. If it's more profitable to do good, companies and parasites will do good. Design the downhill path; the sheep will follow.


#19

Dang, Drabula! That was down right poetic. Maybe you should write that script!


#20

The 'average investor' was drummed out in part by the SEC making rules that accounts had to be larger...to protect us from ourselves.

As to the rest? Yes. You DO have a choice. You don't 'have' to be someone's employee and submit to their idea f how to invest. I'm sorry that you are, as are many, many millions. But it's not one of life's inevitabilities.

I had one problem with the article though. B of A? 'Beloved'? Really? Ever?