Bankers don’t go to jail because they are more equal than us all

European Parliament President Martin Schulz walks to chair a vote at the plenary of the legislative on the European Banking Union. 7th Parliamentary Term in Strasbourg. (EP Audiovisual Services).

European Parliament President Martin Schulz walks to chair a vote at the plenary of the legislative on the European Banking Union. 7th Parliamentary Term in Strasbourg. (EP Audiovisual Services).

How come and despite the fact that bankers systematically and quite openly cheat hundreds of millions of people, usurping trillions from them, and the only ones of that trade that have been locked up in a penitentiary are the bosses of the three Icelandic banks Glitnir, Kaupthing and Landsbanki, which went bankrupt in 2008? All the major US and European banks have been found guilty on various charges, the most important of which are misleading investors and knowingly causing the 2008-2010 credit crisis and still the bankers remain untouched.

On top of that, bankers have been caught in the act while rigging the interest rates benchmarks, falsifying the currency parities, fixing the derivative market pricing and faking the Baltic indexes of sea freight yardsticks. Yet no banker is in jail. The penal action against some second-rate deal room traders doesn’t change the hard fact the bankers enjoy full immunity vis-à-vis the western legal systems. Locking up one or two minor dealers is just a hypocritical act by the judicial authorities, meant to pacify public outrage. But then again why do bankers always manage to get away with dishonesty, fraudulence and misleading financial behaviour? Everybody knows the answer, ‘they are too big to be prosecuted’ because ‘they are too big to fail’.

Bankers are more equal

This however brings us back to George Orwell’s Animal Farm novel where ‘some animals are more equal than others’. Orwell wrote it having in mind the USSR but lately is becoming seasonable again. Can our western democracies tolerate that? Rather not. The cost can be as high as self-destruction. To the measure that the bankers’ immunity becomes progressively apparent to the average man in the street, citizens start voting for Nigel Farage’s UKIP, just to get revenge from the main stream parties, for tolerating if not encouraging the bankers’ catastrophic behaviour.

The same is true in France with Marine Le Pen’s Front National, in Italy with Beppe Grillo’s five star movement, in Greece with the Golden Down’s underworld fascists and elsewhere in Europe. Equally negative reactions against main stream politics, but expressing and stemming from different social and economic backgrounds, are the American Tea Parties which now shake the US political system, having overwhelmed the GOP. The traditional leadership of the American Republican Party, (the good old party) can no longer effectively manage its Congressional groups of senators and deputies.

Citizens against bankers

In the entire Western financial universe it becomes progressively clear that no country has taken any significant action, political, economic or legal in order to effectively place under control the unruly power of bankers. Iceland is the only bright exception, but this is a tiny country at the edges of the Western world. Last week an Icelandic court sentenced Sigurjon Arnason the former CEO of Landsbanki to 12 months in prison. Some months ago the former executives of Iceland’s two other big banks, Glitnir and Kaupthing had also been jailed. Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson former chief executive of Kaupthing, Iceland’s biggest bank, already serves a sentence of six years, the largest sentence ever delivered in Iceland for an economic crime. Geir Haarde the country’s prime minister up to 2008 was also found guilty of negligence which led to the crisis.

Practically all the major shareholders and the executives of the three Icelandic banks which went bankrupt in 2008 are now in jail. Those facts didn’t make it as prime news at the 8 o’clock bulletins of the major TV channel in Europe and the US. The reason is obviously that just after the news, usually follow the hideously expensive advertisements of financial services.

Reality cannot be ostracized

Nevertheless, this reality of self-imposed censorship in the major western media cannot forever hide the news that bankers in well-governed countries like Iceland go to jail. The combined effect of the bankers’ unholy activities, plus the political inaction against them and the cover up of the real financial issues by the major media, infuriates the average man in the street on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

On 13 November the European Sting wrote “…the Financial Stability Board, an international non-binding body based in Basel which comprises government and central bank officials from G20 countries had a bright idea for the lenders. They admitted that the 30 “too big to fail” major world banks should retain at least 20% of their risky assets in own capital in order to save taxpayers the onerous burden of bailing them out when needed”. Unfortunately, the Sting’s writer George Pepper concluded that, “In reality, the Board by recommending the retention of such massive bank reserves, indirectly recognises that for the time being and in the foreseeable future, taxpayers will continue to be held responsible or rather hostage, being obliged to bail out the ‘systemic’ banks when they go bankrupt”.

If the unemployed knew…

If the unemployed and the hard-working and heavily taxed ordinary men and women in Europe and the US become conscious of the real issues with the banks and the bankers, then the Tea Parties, the Farages, the Le Pens and the Grillos in Europe and the US may prevail. They are xenophobic, aggressive, dangerous and capable for the worst. And the worst may be a new global carnage.

The Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin and his ruling gang may contribute ‘positively’ to this monstrous prospect. The wars in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe may give us a good glimpse of what may follow. What is happening now in Ukraine can be the tracer used also to accustom us all to bloodshed.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

‘World’s deadliest sea crossing’ claimed six lives a day in 2018: UN refugee agency

EU Commission announces Safe Harbour 2.0 and a wider Data protection reform

These 4 scenarios show how we might be working in the future

What Merkel and Macron are to tell Trump in Davos?

OECD employment rate increases to 68.2% in the first quarter of 2018

Governments urged to put first ever UN global migration pact in motion, post-Marrakech

European Commission statement on the adoption of the new energy lending policy of the European Investment Bank Group

UN highlights importance of skills development on World Youth Skills Day

3 ways business leaders can build digital trust

What is the UN General Assembly and what does it do?

Budget MEPs approve €34m in EU aid to Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Bulgaria

10 reasons why today’s cyber leaders are tomorrow’s world leaders

Across the world, women outlive men. This is why

The consequences of Brexit seen by a European young entrepreneur

UN gears up emergency food aid for hurricane-struck region of Bahamas, as death toll rises

Europe eyes to replace US as China’s prime foreign partner

Draghi left alone with no hope of boosting EU growth as Merkel just focuses on next elections

Collective action now, the only way to meet global challenges, Guterres reaffirms in annual report

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Eco-warriors’ fight climate change in South Africa

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: updates from the Near East and Libya, Ebola in DR Congo, World War remembrance

German political spillovers: ECB’s Draghi resists first attacks by AfD

The von der Leyen Commission: for a Union that strives for more

Countries urged to make ‘digital world’ safer for children

What can stop the ‘too big to fail’ bankers from terrorising the world?

This is how companies are working together to create a world without waste

The relationship between Dengue and the rainfall in Boa Vista, Brazil

We must build resilience to face the future – but will we be fast enough?

Here are five tips to make your message clear in a crowded world

Is “Sustainable Development” a concept that integrates Health Literacy and Health Policy as a global health action?

A geared turbofan at Pratt & Whitney's production hub in West Palm Beach (copyright: Pratt & Whitney - a UTC Company- 2018; Source: Pratt & Whitney's website, media center)

The EU Commission approves UTC’s acquisition of Rockwell Collins under conditions

European Border and Coast Guard: Council adopts revised regulation

3 unexpected consequences of the US-China trade war

Trump fines China with $50 billion a year plus some more…

These chefs are fighting hunger and poverty with gastronomy

Ebola: EU announces new funds to strengthen preparedness in Burundi

Spread of polio still an international public health concern

Taliban-led violence during recent Afghan polls leaves record high numbers of civilians dead – UN

UN peacekeepers warn of increasing global challenges

UN Human Rights Council stands firm on LGBTI violence, Syria detainees and Philippines ‘war on drugs’

EU-U.S. Trade Talks: European Commission presents draft negotiating mandates

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

It’s time to switch to a four-day working week, say these two Davos experts

Erasmus+: an expected budget of €3 billion to be invested in young Europeans and to help create European Universities in 2019

Economic sentiment and business climate stagnate in miserable euro area

Mali not fulfilling its ‘sovereign role’ in protecting its people: UN human rights expert

World simply ‘not on track’ to slow climate change this year: UN weather agency

Germany: A grand coalition may trouble employers and bankers

IMF launches a new offensive against Germany

Mobility in 2020: a female perspective

COP25: Support business efforts to tackle climate change, urges Guterres

Trump rejects Europe’s offer for zero car tariffs; he had personally tabled that idea in July

Children of ISIL terrorists likely held in ‘secret detention facilities’, UN human rights office warns

Copyright: MEPs back provisional agreement

Should tech companies pay us for our data?

Facebook and Google to treat Europe as the 51st State of the USA

UN chemical weapons watchdog adds new powers to assign blame, following attacks

Here are three ways blockchain can change refugees’ lives

2016 crisis update: the year of the Red Fire Monkey burns the world’s markets down

EU unveils plan to accelerate Capital Markets Union ahead of London’s departure from the bloc

EU’s tougher privacy rules: WhatsApp and Facebook set to be soon aligned with telcos

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s