Justice, What's That?

By Kit Hayden | Oct 26, 2015
Photo by: americantribune.org Bernie's digs; nice eh?

Newcastle — You probably read that the. U.S. Supreme Court, in yet another muttonheaded decision, decided not to review a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that tossed out two insider trading convictions and made it harder for authorities to pursue certain kinds of wrongful trading cases.  As a result, the 2013 conviction of Michael S. Steinberg, high ranking villain in SAC Capital Advisers, will be dropped, as will the guilty pleas of six cooperating witnesses.  How is it that none of the varlets responsible for the financial crash of 2008  has ever had to answer for his crime?  Well, I’m being a bit harsh.  Before being submarined by the Supreme Court, the federal prosecutor Bharara had a stellar record, achieving 85 convictions and guilty pleas from analysts, traders, and industry consultants.  But then he aimed too high.

From a Deal Book article: “Mr. Bharara said that ‘insisting on maintaining guilty pleas in these cases would not be in the interests of justice,’ in light of the appeals court ruling. But he added that the prosecutions were brought in good faith.”  I think what he meant to say is that they were “bought in good faith.”  Part of the SAC plea deal by the former hedge fund company included the payment of $1.8 billion in fines to federal authorities and securities regulators.  And therein lies the root of injustice, TMM (Too Much Money).  None of the big boys has had to pay for his evil because the corporations and hedge funds are too rich, albeit with imaginary money.  And heaven only knows how many shysters (excuse me, lawyers) have greatly profited from this miscarriage of justice.

You probably remember Bernie Madoff.  About 7 years ago Bernie was busted for his massive Ponzi scheme.  (That’s a fraudulent investment operation where the operator, an individual or organization, pays returns to its investors from new capital paid to the operators by new investors, rather than from profit earned by the operator.)  Bernie parlayed $5000 saved from life guarding and sprinkler installation into billions and billions of dollars via his investment company’s Ponzi operation.  Eventually the Feds caught on (after his son ratted on him) and he was awarded a 150 year prison sentence.

I haven’t the slightest doubt that Ponzi schemes are virulent in our financial gardens, operating with impunity because of their complexity.  Nobody knows how the stock market operates beyond the certain knowledge that it is manipulated.   How is it that Bernie got caught?  I believe it was because he also aimed too high and bilked people who were too important (meaning TMM).

And what about the bilkees?  Here’s the fun part.  U.S. officials are said to have managed to recover $11 billion of the $17 billion that they believe was lost when the Ponzi scheme collapsed in 2008.  This magic money is squirreled in some bogus trust that will be used to pay back the investors careless enough to be taken.  Caveat emptor me arse.    That’s right! You will be reimbursed up to $1,161,000 for your losses, and if you blew even more than that (and who didn’t, given that paltry limit?) you should receive back as much as 61% of your investment.

Hold on here!  I’ve lost money lots of times in stocks that bellied up.  Nobody ever offered to compensate me.  How come?  I guess it’s probably because I never invested enough; say a million dollars, or perhaps because I never retained a hotshot barrister at maybe $500/hr.    Alas, poor me.  Give up, little guy; take your losses; it’s just the way the system malfunctions.

Last I heard Bernie’s still in the hoosegow.  I find that a little surprising.  The unfortunate consequence of being broke?  At least he’s lodged at FCI Butner, which has been described as "the crown jewel" of the federal prison system.  Justice seasoned with compassion.  God Bless America.

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