Eric Harrington – Arrest Wall Street CEO’s for Criminal Negligence…

Do the Republicans even realize how ridiculous they sound as they posture and feign outrage over the firing of the GM CEO? The company was bankrupt. Reorganized.  And in a Chapter 11 reorganization, the CEO is often fired. There is nothing unusual about that. It is in fact, appropriate.

So what about AIG?  Why isn’t THEIR CEO being fired? Why not all the rest of the Wall Street pirates that take our bailout and then have the GALL to refuse to tell us how they spent it. They should be arrested, not just fired.  I know the next-bubblepat reply to this suggestion from the powers-that-be is “well they really didn’t actually do anything illegal.” But in fact the courts do have a charge for the Wall Street Gang.  It’s called Criminal Negligence.  When a person leaves a child in a car on a hot day, a child they are responsible for, they are considered to be criminally negligent. Doesn’t matter if their intentions were good, it’s still negligent on the order of CRIMINAL.  It’s the crime reserved for negligent actions with grave consequences, (or even potentially grave consequences) that while not necessarily illegal or even intentional, are made illegal through the shear magnitude of their carelessness. Am I missing something here?

These Wall Street hustlers had a responsibility to not only their stock holders, but to the country as a whole to PROTECT their companies’ interests — given their enviable position as the veritable grease of the wheels of the economy– and they exhibited such exorbitant negligence or such incredibly poor judgment, that they not only crashed their companies, but the entire economy as well. If that’s NOT CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE, I don’t know what is.

And while you’re at it, how about arresting the people asleep at the wheel, (or rather partying in the back seat) who were supposed to monitor these banks and the risk ratings of their securities? The ratings agencies are as complicit as the wheel man in a bank heist.  They could easily have fraud added to the list of charges. Just ask that off-shore investor who bought a securitized load of mortgage excrement and now has to watch the crooks who sold it to them get bailed out. Where’s THEIR bailout?

We need to arrest every one of the CEO’s that took our money and make them prove in court they were not negligent.  The same as Britney would have to, if she held her baby out of a 3rd story window to play a joke on a friend.

And finally (and this would give me the greatest pleasure of all) we come to the Bush Administration.  Yes, the staggeringly corrupt bunch who lied us into the Iraq fiasco, also actively PREVENTED states from trying to stop the predatory lending practices that created the worst of the Housing Bubble’s steaming toxic asset pile, which like the rubble of the WTC towers will still be smoldering for months if not years after the economy has found it’s legs… And we’re not just talking negligence here: Team Bush intentionally prevented the states from stopping the drunken sailors of the mortgage industry from writing MORE bad mortgages. And that began back in 2005!!! Yes, it is painfully obvious that the Bush admin wanted this Bubble to go on, at least long enough to prevent a collapse on their watch.

In my dreams....

In my dreams….

The Housing Bubble conveniently prevented the rampant inflation that would normally accompany a trillion dollar war, painfully demonstrated during Viet Nam debaucle. The Bubble neatly covered the festering economic chancre and made it look like a harmless beauty mark.

Without consequences, they will simply do it again. We must make someone PAY for this corporate clusterfuck, and not just with the sale of the new Gulfstream…  That’s like simply asking the bank robber to give back the Cadillac he bought with the loot.  Oh No… A seizure of their bonuses and golden parachutes, potentially having been acquired through criminally negligent activity, would be the first step, and then as we would with any drunken driver who killed his passenger; prosecute the greedy bastards who were responsible to the absolute limit of the law.

It’s not just that we should do this. We must. Who cares if the stock market crashes for a day or two? There must be consequences. 100 years ago, we would not need to prosecute them. Proper society would make them suffer a fate worse than prison, namely complete and total banishment.  They would forever be looked at as common hustlers, carpetbaggers, veritable highway men, and they would never work in a position of real responsibility again.  But not today. Today, the public memory is short, and society’s teeth are capped in porcelain, and fixed in a grim smirk that makes W’s squinty smile look welcoming.  No, these same crooks will just move around to new million dollar boardrooms, because they are in the CLUB, and the club watches out for its own… unless they have to eat them, of course… But we can change that.  Obama has taken the first step, with the unprecedented, state-ordered firing of one of these (Titanic) captains of our industry.  Now he has to take it all the way and let them know we will not let this happen again. Not without CONSEQUENCES.


For MORE of the Economic Crisis…

~ by Eric Harrington on April 1, 2009.

20 Responses to “Eric Harrington – Arrest Wall Street CEO’s for Criminal Negligence…”

  1. I liked this so much I put it on some social bookmarking sites:

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Your very kind… Thanks.


  3. And as the bubble grew and easy credit was obtained, the American Dream being realized was the ether in the rag, so the people slept. how else could Americans with their heart and will allow the excesses of the Bush Adm. to go on.

  4. arrest them for treason, they knew what they were doing. its also been a criminal enterprize. use rico laws and they can seize all their assets pre trial. face facts these fed bankers with the reserve and on the wall street have been acting like the mafia .charge them that way, and we get all the money back they stole.

  5. […] via Eric Harrington – Arrest Wall Street CEO’s for Criminal Negligence… « Where Conspiracy and Real…. […]

  6. What AG should do is bring eliot spitzer back in from the cold and sic him on these criminals these charlatains these modern day robber barons and that includes the ppl that destroyed the state’s rights to inforce the occ rules make sure SAG cuomo gets all the weight and resorces our govt can give him to go after these so called people and I term that word losely…. go get them AG holder cause after all its up job now

  7. What a bunch of horseshit! Arrest CEO’s on the suspicion of “criminal neglect.” This knucklehead has lumped together all corporate executives in the same bag, corrupt. Bullshit! The Far Left has declared war on wealth when only a few short months ago everybody in this country wanted to be wealthy. Was there corruption on Wall Street? Does a bear go poo-poo in the woods? Root out the bad actors and throw the book at them but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. Perhaps while Holder is at it, he could arrest Bush and Cheney as war criminals although I won’t hold my breath.

  8. I agree with everything you’ve written per this topic… BUT ( and I add this as a mere historical note in no way justifying such behavior) a hundred years ago saw the final end of the Gilded Age (Twain’s dating not withstanding). And it also saw Gould, Harriman, Carneige (SP), Rockefeller and the rest the scum walk off into the sunset… just like today.

  9. I didn’t lump them all together, only the ones who permitted the derivitives, the fraudelent risk ratings, and the change in lending rules that followed the derivitives orgy, that ultimately lead to ANYONE being able to buy a house above their means. They were responsible for this economy and they DESTROYED it with greed and negligence.. This is no war on wealth, only on the super rich at the top squeezing the blood out of everyone else to get more, more, more.. Only when through bubble, collapse sequences like this take the intellectual wealth of the working lcas striving to GET rich and pump it up to the big corporations..

    Sorry, there is nothing free about the way the market works in the US. It is a fixed game, and beyond that half the money earned in this country comes from doing work of NO value, ie, day trading etc.. and that is unsustainable..

    I am not going to take the time to reiterate everything in my barious essays on this blog, I suggest you read some of them…

    And thanks for commenting..


  10. “We need to arrest every one of the CEO’s that took our money and make them prove in court they were not negligent.” Those are your words Eric! How bout the CEO’s that didn’t want the TARP funds in the first place but went along putting country before their own businesses? I am sick and tired of the “media” lumping all bankers together as the scum of the earth. There is so much frickin’ misinformation out there in the hinterlands that no wonder the mob is ready to grab their pitchforks. Essays such as the above do nothing but incite baser instincts. Why don’t you ask why Americans have tended to vote against their own economic interests over the last 30 years and not expect the day of reckoning to ever come? Hello America, there are real economic consequences to worshippping leaders like Reagan and
    providing enough votes for scoundrels like G. W. Bush’s father’s henchmen to select him as president. Of course, we live in an age where we need villians and scapegoats, personal responsibility is not something we as a people are very good at.

  11. Every one of them, even those who DIDN”t take the tarp money or later bailouts, they all knew this scam was happening with the derivitives and they let it go on because THEY were getting BIG bonuses for the stock performance during the bubble. But they KNEW it wasn’t sustainable, EVERY ONE OF THEM, and they knew it would HAVE to Collapse sooner or later.

    I most certainly CAN lump them together. You can’t expect the street level mortgage banker to worry about causing a collapse. They should be prosecuted for fraud if they did it, for that was something that was rampant at the street level at the end of the housing frenzy, but it’s not their job to worry about the bubble. And they only were able to Do fraudulant apps because the banks were not scrutinizing ANYTHING. It was a free-for-all, and who’s fault WAS THAT? It’s the guys at the top who CHANGED THE RULES to drive the bubble higher and higher. First it was interest only, then no money down, and that was the kiss of death, because that removed the exposure from the borrower, just as the exposure had been removed from the bank through the derivitives. Anyone who had the authority to change the time tested rules of lending to enable interest only mortgages and no money down purchases, IS Culpable. EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM.. And whether it is persued or not, they SHOULD KNOW we SHOULD prosecute them for exercising such greed and abandoning their responsibilities to their companies long term solvency AND that of the Country.
    Read my piece “Eric Harrington – The Private Sector Caused the Crash!” for a detailed analysis…

  12. And BTW.. I and most working class people don’t give a SHIT how much the CEO’s and people at the top make, if they are doing a good job for the company as a whole. I think the fundemntal problem comes down to the timeless battle between the money class and the working class.. They money class think money is more important than work. CEO’s work only for the stock holders and the current bottom line. They don’t consider the company as a wholistic entity.

    When workers are layed off there is a COST associated with it. When pollution is created that has to be cleaned up by the public, there is a cost associated with it. And those costs are dumped on the backs of the taxpayers (those same workers) who are taking the hits on the other end as well. It’s corporate socialism and it is rampant for decades now.

    No one begrudges a CEO of a successful, SUSTAINABLE company as much money as that company can justify. Thats the stock holders problem if he’s paid too much. But when they run the company into the ground and the economy with it through overt greed and irresponsibility, then YES 1 dollar is too much, so a 15 million bonus is obscene. Golden parachutes are counter productive..

  13. “It was a free-for-all, and who’s fault WAS THAT? It’s the guys at the top who CHANGED THE RULES to drive the bubble higher and higher.” The “guys” that changed the rules are the hack politicians the people, in their infinite “wisdom”, elected to public office. The same hack politicians that accept obscene amounts of money from lobbyists that want the rules changed. The whole fucking system of government has been rotten to the core for many years. I am not familiar with your posts but why do you evade the obvious. Wall Street Bankers assume risk, Mortgage Bankers loan money, that is what they do. Citizens elect shitty representatives. That is what they do. So it is a bit tiresome when the mob awakens from their collective slumber and realize that they have sold themselves down the river. Oh wait, they never make that realization cause they have guys like you to provide them, in the words of the worst president of all time, evil doers.

  14. Read the post.. The governemtn didn’t TELL anyone to do intereast only loans. They didn’t even change a rule to allow it. They didn’t tell anyone to start funding down payments with 2nd mortgages. The banks chose to do those things because with the new arrangement of securitizing the mortgages through the investment banks, they were dumping the loans as soon as they were written and so the banks had no exposure. No exposure, more and more risky loans. The Government didn’t enable them. The Bush admin DID thwart states from going after predatory lending practices by the street level brokers, but that was not the problem. It’s not THEIR job to evaluate risk, it’s the underwriters at the BANKS. The Investment Bank, Mortgage bank, and rating agency axis of eveil caused this crash… And the Bush admin simply ignored it and prevented states from taking action and of course Greenspan in his wisdom LOWERED the interest rates in 2005. I HATE the Bush admin but they were only partly at fault. BANK GREED was the primary mover.

  15. Like it or not, GREED is the basis of our capitalistic system. Thirty years of laissez-faire economic philosophy, coupled with a dismantling of New Deal legislative protections, compounded by no oversight by the proper regulatory agencies brought us close to the end of Western Civilization as we know it. Actions don’t take place in a vacuum. You can declare a jihad against bankers but my analysis is more encompassing and opposed to your wet dream of jailing silver-haired graduates of the country’s most elite schools clothed in impeccably tailored suits as they exit from their own private luncheon with President Obama, points the way towards a solution. Fortunately, our new president does not share your prejudices. He, and Ben Bernanke and Tim Geitnher realize that to kick-start the economy, the country needs a strong banking system as the foundation. Let me be the first to point out to you that because of actions already taken by the new administration and the Fed, a second Great Depression has been taken off the table. That is what the stock market has been telling us during the recent rally. Much to the chagrin of Dr. “Doom” Roubini and his pal Dr. Krugman, their so called “zombie” banks are expected to announce positive earnings for the first quarter.The re-regulation of the financial system is coming. Perhaps after the masses experience this mini-depression, they won’t forget the lessons our grandparents learned the hard way.

  16. The populace did exactly what the free market would demand. They tried to cash in on the bubble. When I am offered the opportunity to buy a $600,000.00 house with nothing but a signature, with no risk except my credit rating, and I see other houses appreciating 25% a year, I would be a fool not to BITE. It was the guys at the top that caused the CRASH, not the people on the street and they need to be punished for it somehow.. The government shouldn’t NEED to prevent a mortgage bank from allowing BONE HEAD STUPID LOANS. They loan OUR money, not theirs. 9 to 1 minimum.. They are supposed to police their interests, and protect OUR money. That did not happen here, they bankrupted themselves and the country and they should go to jail for it. The big banks have a huge responsibility to the populace as a whole to keep the credit market stable or everything just stops. Having that kind of power has responsibilities that come with it and the banks willfully failed in that responsibility..

    As for greed driving capitalism, the premise of the free market is sound with proper rules. And all the rules are currently stacked in favor of the investor, and espeically the insider all Street club. And the common man ALWAYS takes the hit. The Stock market was created to help fund MANUFACTURING and Infrastructure, not to be the rediculous casino it has become, with derivitives, credit swaps, and shorts. Day trading is a curse on our economy and must be seriously impaired so the average investor can feel their money is reasonably safe in the market. The average person is always the last to know, and all the insiders get out early. Market volatility is the enemy of a healthy economy. Companies are destroyed on nothing but negative rumors. I think a slight tax on stock purchases would help. Everyone else does it. Makes it harder to make a profit on day trading. The market has to be changed to favor invest and hold strategies over trading. But as long as Wall Street makes the rules, it will be the opposite and the working class will continue to take the hit when the mraket crashes, and good companies are destroyed by a little bad press. You want to day trade, trade currency, Forex is purely chaotic and a perfect “free market” but stocks have companies and jobs and lives at stake, and they suffer to feed the greed of the day trader..

    Re regulation will help, but it is not enough. The entire system has to be “recrafted” so it can do what it was designed to do– help good corporations get money to grow.

  17. The activity that you describe in your first paragraph is called predatory lending, a practice that I am unalterably opposed to. However it does take two to tango. Lenders that engaged in predatory lending, while not illegal, tarnished the banking industry as a whole. I do not, as you do, release the home buyer from his responsibility to perform due diligence however. The motivating factor of both parties is greed, not just the lender’s. And, I don’t paint with the same broad brush as you do since I am familiar with many bankers that did not engage in predatory lending which is why I called your proposal to jail all bank ceo’s as horseshit. As a former vp who retired at a relatively young age from a very lucrative position with a Wall Street investment firm that is still standing because of the obscene levels of corruption I agree with the need for re-regulation coupled with oversight. When insider trading is allowed to go unpunished, naked short selling allowed to destroy companies with lies, and a stooge, Chris Cox, asleep at the switch at the SEC, the average investor doesn’t stand a chance and they know it. However, if you hold the opinion Eric that the wealthy have not been hurt by this downturn you are mistaken. Having a strong and competent individual, which I believe Mary Schapiro to be, as Chairman of the SEC and by reinstituting the uptick rule which will stop the market from being controlled by wealth destroyers will go a long way towards reestablishing the trust in our free market system. I am quite confident ever since President Obama stopped comparing a never ending downturn in the stock market to the normal fluctuations in a presidential election poll and got religion, i.e. realized that Main Street needs a healthy Wall Street, that the necessary rules and regulations will be put back in place so that once again all Americans can participate in the wealth generating system of our economy.

  18. I pray your right… Thanks for the thoughtful comments..
    IMHO, it will take more than simple regulation. The whole day trading business is counter-productive to a healthy economy… And that’s where Wall street makes most of their money…

    I agree that many people made bad choices on loans and I don’t absolve them from responsibility either. But the common suggestion that is was just greed that drove them is also not accurate. I know MANY people upside down now, and they made purchases that were perfectly rational in that market, but when the collapse happened and their value was cut in half, suddenly they were screwed.. Bad mortgages aren’t just a function of selling them to bad risks. They are also created BY the market crash… I have a dear friend who owns a Billion dollar, multinational manufacturing company. He lost one big order, at the most inopportune time, when his credit line was up for renewal, which also came right at the height of the credit freeze. The BANKS, who froze the credit even though they had money to loan, caused him to literally be driven into Chapter 11 in a week. A thriving business with thousands of jobs all but destroyed becasue of BANKS NOT honoring their reponsibilty to the economy. The credit crisis was a SCAM. They held us hostage and they should be JAILED. The Housing bubble was a Pyramid SCHEME created by the mortgage banks and investment banks, and the people at the top should be JAILED. Their negligence was criminal and I stand by my piece..

    We’ll see if a little tigher regulation makes a real difference, but to millions, the damage is already done… SOmeone should actually be punished for it, and being forced to retire with a 15 million dollar parachute, to me isn’t punsihment..

    As for the wealthy taking a hit in the crash, yes, the moderately wealthy DO take a hit. But those at the top with the inside info, and the big corporations, remain liquid through a crash and then swoop in and buy all the great IP for pennies on the dollar. And yes their stock value goes down, which hurts their investors a little, but their RELATIVE worth goes UP. They become MORE competitive from all the aquisitions, so thier market power increases through a crash and that is the strategy of the international industrial elite.. They and the major bankers never really take a hit.. Except this time some of the banks actually went too far..

    Anyway, I understand your sensitivity to my suggestion having worked in Wall Street, but the best thing that could happen is for there to be a parade of Wall Street CEO’s doing the perp walk. That would fix the problem better than ANY regulation… There HAS to be consequences for destroying an economy.. The ones at the top have to understand they have a responsibility to the country not just their stock holders.. To the world really.. Sustainability isn’t just a marketing slogan..

    Please read my pieces “The Private Sector caused the crash” and The Big Lie Part 3 – Wealth redistribution” and give your sooth input… I welcome a view from the other side…




  19. Crimes must be punished, not rewarded. To bail these banks out because they are too big to fail is horse pokey. The Roman Empire was too big to fail.

    The failure is that of our leaders. But since they all take oathes to uphold the Constitution and then proceed not to, they are also criminals. Our country will not survive without the rule of law.

  20. Obama has no claim on credit for what he did. Don’t forget, he’s part of the CLUB too, just as much as is Busch (both Georges), the Clintons, Cheney, Helmut Kohl, Angela Merkel, Mikhail Gorbachev, the US Treasury, The Federal Reserve system and all of its owners. Why do you think they do all this, and take such risks? They do it because they can, and to fund/advance another much larger plot, and they DON’T take risks, they rig it so all the risk is born by others. Keep firmly in mind, this “bubble” is only a part of the world wide stealing and diversion of OPM. Find the details and report them if you really want a story to tell!

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