Country Club Sopranos | American Banks Are On A Massive Crime Spree. Obama and Romney Hope You Won’t Notice.
Country Club Sopranos
American banks are on a massive crime spree. Obama and Romney hope you won’t notice.
If they’d been common robbers, the bankers surely would have faced indictments. After all, their scams have run for years, their breadth and coordination breathtaking.
But not a single boss went to jail. Some firms settled for just a fraction of what they’d stolen. Most have never admitted wrongdoing. And in the ethics-optional land known as Wall Street, many saw their stock prices rise.
America’s country club set has forged its own replica of the Mafia — only bigger, broader and capable of unleashing far more damage on the U.S. economy.
“Unquestionably, that’s true,” says Notre Dame law professor G. Robert Blakey, whose career prosecuting organized crime runs all the way back to the Kennedy administration. “I was looking at stuff on Mulberry Street, and the real theft was on Wall Street…All of the people who ran the scams have their big houses and their airplanes, and they’re laughing — they got away with it.”
The crime wave is a ready-made campaign issue: Gucci villains plundering the middle class. But you haven’t heard a peep out of Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. Both have records they’d prefer you didn’t notice.
The situation leaves Sam Antar with a sense of longing. He’s a former chief financial officer convicted of securities, mail and wire fraud.
“My biggest mistake in life was that I committed my crimes in the 1980s,” he says. “If I committed them today, I wouldn’t even get house arrest. I’d just hire a good lawyer and pay a fine and I’d be free.”
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