Put Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein in jail for six months, and all this will stop, all over Wall Street and America, a former congressional aide tells Matt Taibbi in his latest Rolling Stone attack, “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail? Financial crooks brought down the world’s economy — but the feds are doing are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them.”
Taibbi’s right, everyone knows Wall Street’s run by a bunch of dictators who are doing more damage to democracy and capitalism than North Africa’s dictators. But jail the CEOs of Goldman, Citi, BofA or my old firm Morgan Stanley? Too late! Only a revolution will stop Wall Street’s self-destructive capitalism. Watching the people revolt against dictators like Mubarak and Gadhafi reminds us of the spirit that sparked the American Revolution in 1776.
But today we need a 1930s-style revolution. And look back at the S&L crisis two decades ago whan America had a backbone, indicted 3,800 executives and bankers. Today’s leaders have no backbone. Besides jail time won’t reform the darkness consuming Wall Street’s soul. We’re all asleep, in denial about the core moral crisis facing America, destroying us from within. Yes, we need a new revolution.
Jail time? We’ve heard that so many times before. Journalists have been beating that dead horse for three years. Jailing CEOs made sense in early 2009. But our naïve president missed that opportunity, instead surrounded himself with Wall Street insiders as Bush did with Blankfein’s predecessor. Trojan Horses manipulating a Congress filled with clueless Dems mismanaging tired Keynesian theories.
Taibbi got it right: Washington’s error was in protecting Wall Street’s billion-dollar crooks when they should have been prosecuting CEOs for criminal behavior in getting us into the 2008 mess. So today, the political statute-of-limitations has run. The “jail” solution is wishful thinking, like praying to the tooth fairy for a miracle. Time for action. Time for a revolution on Wall Street. Wake up America, listen:
“Our country is bankrupt. It’s not bankrupt in 30 years or five years,” warns economist Larry Kotlikoff, “it’s bankrupt today.”
Economist Peter Morici: “Capitalism is broken, America’s government is two bankrupt political parties bankrupting the country.”
David Stockman, Reagan’s budget director: “If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians” the “tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing.”
BusinessWeek recently asked analyst Mary Meeker to run the numbers. How bad is it? America really is bankrupt, with a “net worth of a negative $44 trillion.” Yes, we’re bankrupt.
And it will get worse. Why? Because nothing can stop America’s self-destructive Wall Street bankers. They simply do not care that their “doomsday capitalism” is destroying Wall Street from within, and bankrupting America too.
Read the full column in MarketWatch detailing the 4 “ticking timebombs” that will trigger the “third meltdown” of the 21st century and bankrupt Wall Street.