Billions In Blood Money Enjoyed by War Criminals' Families … While you might not see them on Forbes' list of wealthy people, criminals and their beneficiaries are some of the richest people on the planet. For example, Bloomberg alleges that the heirs of a prominent Nazi are billionaires who own half of BMW who are also closely connected with Daimler. Four of the heirs are worth $1.2 billion each, and much of their wealth allegedly came from slave labor at German concentration camps … Indeed, given up to $32 trillion dollars are being hidden in offshore tax shelters, the amount of wealth accumulated through crime is nearly impossible to track. What should have happened, of course, is that ill-gotten gains should have been clawed back from the criminals as soon as they were discovered, just as they should be clawed back from Wall Street fraudsters. But that is not likely to happen, since many political and business leaders are unrepentant and unwilling to root out crime. – Washington's Blog
Dominant Social Theme: Wall Street criminals are just like war criminals.
Free-Market Analysis: Another brilliant analysis courtesy of Washington's Blog is circulating throughout the Internet. We've commented on Washington's Blog in the past because it is a peculiar if noteworthy hybrid … an example of what we might call "governmental libertarianism."
Washington obviously accepts the idea of a market-based economy but he (we assume it is a "he") apparently believes that robust regulation – and criminal prosecution – is necessary to lubricate the workings of such an economy. He's been especially vocal in the past few years – along with at least one prominent prosecutorial lawyer – about the idea that not enough people have gone to jail for Wall Street's manifold sins.
We, too, find modern Wall Street distasteful. In many ways it is nothing but organized (and regulated) criminality. But we differ with Washington and others who believe the cure for Wall Street's current exploitation and greed is simply to send Wall Street crooks to jail. In our view, that won't change a thing. Nor will increased regulation, which has been tried before.
In fact, most Wall Streeters are just normal people, in our estimation. They've gone to work on the Street much in the same way that people go to work for law firms or public education.
There are certainly lawyers who steal and teachers who seek to install institutionalized abuse within their educational environments. But prosecuting and throwing lawyers into jail does nothing to cure a crooked system. Likewise, jailing teachers does not undo the corruption and misery of public schooling.
The focus on penal penalties, as we have pointed out before, shifts public attention away from the real problem. It also implicitly acknowledges that the current system is OK and ought to be used as it is. Yet the current US penal-gulag includes some six million people, something like half the world's imprisoned population, many of them jailed for nonsensical offenses like drug use.
Increasingly, US prisons are being privatized, which merely means monopoly operations are given private title. This is nothing like real privatization that includes competition. The kind of privatization taking place in the US simply results in increased efficiency due to prisoners being used as a kind of slave labor.
Eventually, there will be an outcry about this, though probably things will have to get worse before they get better. Currently, they are certainly trending "negative." Some one-third or more of US citizens are exposed to the criminal justice system by the time they are 25, we have read (and reported). Law enforcement in the US is increasingly brutal and the trends toward yet more incarceration and more slavery are seemingly unopposed.
This is the real shame of the US justice system – a system surely as evil, brutal and exploitative as any the world has ever seen. To call for its employment when it comes to Wall Street "crooks" is to some degree to avoid the reality of what US justice has become. Doing so provides credibility to a tool that should not be used in its current form.
Additionally, this article, excerpted above, begins to make the case that Wall Streeters are generally similar to war criminals. This is literally true from a historical perspective but even here we can make the link between Wall Street and the power elite that has organized the current environment and runs it.
It is the Bush family most prominently that has war ties, funding Hitler's Germany and provoking, eventually, such outrage that the family was stripped of its German assets early in the 1940s. There are surely other incidents of Wall Street's participation in the military-industrial complex but none perhaps so blatant.
Here's more from the article, mentioning the Bush family's culpability:
Barclays, Chase, and the Bush family also made money hand over fist financing Hitler. The Vatican has built a secret property empire worth close to a billion U.S. dollars using money Italian dictator Mussolini gave the church for blessing fascism.
Modern tyrants have gotten wealthy from oppressing people as well. For example, the family of U.S.-backed Egyptian dictator Mubarak holds $40-70 billion. Russian leader Putin also has a current net worth of $40 billion. (They pale in comparison to Libya's Gaddafi, worth $200 billion.)…
Indeed, when the elite profit from things such as laundering drug and terror money, funding both sides of wars and other unsavory acts, no one wants to stop the music.
Our main objection here is that even the political elites being mentioned (or those on Wall Street) are often NOT the real elite. Wall Street is actually a tool for the REAL elite – the power elite – that wants to run the world out of such city-states as the City of London, Washington DC, etc.
Also, the real issue when it comes to incarceration is not that the wealthy operate under different judicial rules but that those who endorse the state-as-it-is are the ones who are abnormally exempted.
If you work for government, wield government power or are in some other way affiliated with government or working in an industry (law, public education) that facilitates government goals, you are far less likely to experience the full force of modern US jurisprudence than someone perceived as working in a field that does not abet official objectives.
What are these objectives? Why, they are the objectives of the power elite that runs government behind the scenes. And that is the tiny club that ought to be identified – not so much for purposes of punishment as to ensure that people really understand what is taking place and who is responsible.
Calling for the jailing of Wall Streeters – or comparing them to war criminals – is probably satisfying from a rhetorical point of view. But it validates the US's prison-industrial complex and confuses people as to who is currently above the law (not wealthy people but those who abet Leviathan).
The people to blame for the current Decline of the West control the world's central banking and have created and control Wall Street. They wish for Wall Street to be blamed and prosecuted much as it was prosecuted back in the 1930s when the current dysfunctional regulatory configuration was created.
Prosecute Wall Street tycoons if you must but don't do so as a substitute for dealing with the real problem. Monopoly central banking is what really needs to be removed. Get rid of it, let monetary competition freely exist and much of Wall Street's abuses will subside without a single securities prosecution.