America Is a "Failed State" with a "Dual Justice System ... One for Ordinary People and then One for People with Money and Enormous Wealth and Power"

George Washington's picture

It is now mainstream news that none of the big financial criminals have been prosecuted.

The New York Times is running an article today entitled "In financial crisis, no prosecutions of top figures", which has been picked up as the leading front-page story by MSNBC. The story even quotes Bill Black:

their policies have created an exceptional criminogenic environment.
There were no criminal referrals from the regulators. No fraud working
groups. No national task force. There has been no effective punishment
of the elites here.

And as Tyler Durden reported yesterday, the chair of the Financial Crisis Commission, Phil Angelides, said today:

think there's a great concern in this country on two fronts. One is
there's a question here, do we have a dual justice system? One for
ordinary people and then one for people with money and enormous wealth
and power. Secondly, we need deterrents. To the extent laws were broken,
we need deterrents. If someone robs a 7-11, they took $500 and they
were able to settle the next day for $50 and no admission of wrongdoing,
they'd knock over that 7-11 again. And we've seen time after time
where people and firms have made tens, one hundreds, billions of
dollars. They've settled charges for pennies on the dollar. At
Citigroup for example they represented that they had $13 billion of
subprime mortgage exposure when they really had $55 billion. The
penalty to the chief financial officer who made $19 million that year,
2007, was $100,000. Goldman was fined $500 million but the date they
settled their stock moved up $2 billion. There's been no real

Well I think there's two things here. Number one is
it's up to the prosecutors to do thorough investigations. That's what
we should expect. We don't want hangmen justice. We don't want
vengeance, but we want thorough investigations. And if people crossed a
line they ought to be prosecuted. But there were a lot of people who
bellied up to the line and conducted themselves in a way without the
highest standards of ethics or moral conduct that hurt the economy

And I think one of the things that's most troubling to
people is there seems to be very little relationship between who drove
this crisis, the big financial institutions, the CEOs, regulators who
didn't do their job, and the people who are paying the price, which are
millions of people who have lost their jobs, lost their homes, lost
their life savings.

As I've previously noted, Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan and a host of other well-known financial names have called for prosecution, because the economy cannot recover until fraud is prosecuted.

But Wall Street is so thoroughly in control of both parties, Congress, the White House, and even the judiciary, that prosecutions won't happen.

No wonder Marc Faber calls the U.S. a failed state, Kenneth Rogoff says our tax systems are "Byzantine labyrinths funneling money to powerful interests", and experts on third world banana republics from the IMF and the Federal Reserve say the U.S. has become a third world banana republic.

Barry Ritholtz argues that - if the prosecutors won't do their job - we should prosecute them for nonfeasance.

Keiser is a tad more radical, saying that - if the criminals aren't
prosecuted - we should hang the bankers. I'm not sure if it is a sign
of public sentiment, but he got a big round of applause for saying that.

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boiltherich's picture

I napped today, and I had odd dreams, reality mixed with scandalous liberty, impossible things.  But one thing I was left with is this, they are laughing at you, at us. 

I know this will be called off topic, and most will say WAY off topic, but on May 14, 1976 I happened to be in Oklahoma City where I saw for lack of better terms, a flying saucer.  Dear god I know I just lost half of you and the rest are put off, but I was there and I saw what I saw.  It was about 40 feet across and about 20 feet top to bottom, there were at least 8 other people there at the time. 

The reason I mention this in spite of the risk to my reputation is several fold, they really are laughing at us.  Just sheep we are in the field munching on weeds, that is how they make their dynastic wealth.  But even in a field of sheep there are those that are smarter and different from the other sheep. The nation and the world has been played, is being played, and the absurdity of it feels remarkably like that day back in 1976 when I got out of my car and stood under a flying saucer, this cannot be happening.  My buddy to this day says it did not happen, but we stood side by side under it, and he only says that because he is a so called christian, it can't be happening, it is but it can't be at the same time because that would mean I really am stupid.   

How do you make sense out of stuff that makes no sense?  How do you look at a flying saucer over your head?  I mean it can't be there, but there it is.  How do you deal with life after you see what cannot be? 

We can't make sense out of the data and headlines about economics we see, finance as we have been taught, fundamentals or technical analysis is worthless.  So what?  Go with your gut?  Become a survivalist?  Learn to shoot a 50 caliber?  Buy gold? 

I suspect that the Fed and Federal government they are the ones laughing at all websites like this, we accuse them, we revile them, but it is they who laugh at us. 

And back to the flying saucer for a minute, it did exist, I was right there standing under it, I am not a crazy person, there were other people with me, it was real, no wings, no motors, no sound, close enough to spit on.  What do you make of that?  Notice I make no claims to it being extraterrestrial, it could have been ours.  But it was real, and it sort of moved of to the side and lower until it got over the field across the street, then just as fast as I can hit a key on this keyboard it was gone, over the horizon in a second or less. 

So, if you believe me then there really are craft that vastly exceed what we think we pay for in technology.  I saw what I saw, it existed and it belonged to someone.  But no matter who it belonged to it was there.  If it was alien then so be it, but if aliens can defy gravity so can we.  That was the seventies, forty years later the powers that be use us as slaves and no longer bother to justify what they do. 

The bottom line I take from it all is never give up hope, if there are aliens with advanced technology poking around they sure did not count on human ability to copy it, and if it is human technology just think of how it will enrich our lives once the military rulers release it to the public.  I am dead serious about this, the technology has existed for forty year at least to have flying saucers, ours or reverse engineered from others, in light of that does not the arguments about FX and commodities, deflation and hyperinflation, politics, isn't it all a bit worn?  What it would mean is that those who do have control of the technology are using it to advance their own personal interests over yours and mine. 

Last thing, I was there, I saw it, I wish you had seen it with me because the moment you see it you have a different life.

I always try to give the benefit of the doubt to my betters, to help when I can, but no matter how it came to be I am certain that there is a technology out there that is so far advanced from what you and I can understand that we are really nothing in it's pale glow.  I believe that those who govern us have access to such technology that we are no more than the sheep munching buttercups to them, and they try to rationalize it as being in our best interests, but they also use it as a way to controls us all.  Like I said, I saw what I saw, thirty five years ago. 

geekgrrl's picture

Max Keiser at his best, making the obvious points, and scaring the Dickens out of the bankers.

I wonder if the bankers are familiar with what a tsunami of human beings looks like?

steelhead23's picture

Prosecute, schmosecute - bah!  Max is right, let's hang em.  Look, here's a spot of reality.  Recent events show that it would likely be devilishly difficult to get convictions.  During the Cioffi/Tannin trial the jury was shown emails between the two indicating that they were very aware that their hedge funds were losing money - fast, yet they continued to tout the "profitablility" of their products to investors.  The intent to defraud could hardly have been clearer.  Yet, they were exonerated - found not guilty.  Why?  Because the defense was able to show that "its just business."  People screw each other in business all the time.  It is how the game is played (or so the sheeple believe).  Further, there is a moral issue - a simple, Calvinistic moral issue.  Non-investors "work" for their money.  Investors don't.  Hence all investors are evil and hence, those fleeced by Cioffi and Tannin, got what they deserved.

While I have less faith than some that prosecutions would result in incarcerations, I am nonetheless four-square with ZH on this - thorough investigation, indictment and prosecution are absolutely necessary to both stem the coup the financial oligarchs are running on the country and to return trust to the marketplace.  The fact that prosecuting financial fraud is a tough job, does not matter.  It simply MUST be done.  Obama should hire Eliot Spitzer and Bill Black, give them a whiff of bankster, snap the leash off their choke collars and say - Sic 'em.  Sometimes the king has to cut off the heads of a few ministers lest the proles go after his.

geekgrrl's picture

"Obama should hire Eliot Spitzer and Bill Black, give them a whiff of bankster, snap the leash off their choke collars and say - Sic 'em.  Sometimes the king has to cut off the heads of a few ministers lest the proles go after his."

Absolutely. And the alternative of doing nothing might very well create a new cottage industry of guillotine manufacturers. His choice.

hurdygurdypauliepoodle's picture

If violation of law leaves no one accountable (slaps on hands and fines which barely dent a few days profits do not count) how can anything change for the future?  There are people rotting for decades in prison for 1/1000 as criminal an act.

Why do American people not understand the dual justice system is very real and white collar crime (the modern mob) is more rampant than ever.  The pigs will be back at the trough unless there is prosecution and regulators/regulation with teeth.  Hmmm, I should say more pigs... as no one took the old pigs away.

Why is there no hue and cry over this real stuff that effects everyone  (Wallstreet fraud, market manipulation, mortgage crisis, jobs) and yet so much energy being wasted talking about non-issues. (like birth certificates, unions, teachers ... bleah!)  People have to have a bare larder before they are up in arms, but there should be anger over the issues that should take you to the streets before you are put out on the street.

Someone said earlier that is does no good to call or write your representatives, but the letters and calls are a start.  Do you continue commmenting here, while using big banks?  Simply complaining here is as bad as throwing your hands up and turning your back to the problem.  (I wouldn't do that to the banks... it is like dropping soap in prison)

This huge report might be the last one you will see.   The banks are doing everything in their power to stop bank bashing and it will wind down and snuff out unless people rise up and make themselves heard on issues like white collar crime, revolving doors and bank lobbyists.  So far all I see are people people lamenting and belly aching on blogs ...

ATG's picture

GW: What about Bernard Madeoff and Sir Allen Snodfart?

OK, they beat SAS brain dead after they got his money without prosecution

Bernie's holding out?



Aristophanes's picture

Unfortunately, Max Keiser's statements, (though probably meant to be hyperbole), are the most relevant...  Or will be shortly.


Look at history.  Times of peace and prosperity are few.  We've been living on a high plateau of comfort in the West and specifically in America.  The assets created by hard work, timing and just plain luck that have made America successful are used up.  We have a cowed population that won't work, and that can't reason for itself that something is wrong despite overwhelming evidence.  They desperately cling to whatever calming opiate spouts from their news and political idols.  The criminal elites are barely even trying anymore to cover their tracks.


What I am seeing is a growing number of us "peasants" who are becoming increasingly angry and disenfranchised. 


Someone said that the (first) American Revolution was started by less than 5% of the population.  We must be getting close.


MacedonianGlory's picture


mind_imminst's picture

Wall Street and the Big Banks certainly got their money's worth by supporting Obama. Looking at Obama's current fundraising, it looks like they should be good for a few more years as well.

Widowmaker's picture

Politics has not been anything but service to the highest bidder for a long, long time.

Now it's infected our institutions, like the Supreme Court Incorporated.


Widowmaker's picture


America is a collection of [mostly] failed states, separated by a duplicity in the Federal government and political processing due to failure to separate monetary value from moral. Judicial matters should be the balance.

America IS a failed state because we have lost the ability to celebrate something greater than ourselves.  Divided we fail.

red_pill_rash's picture

nyt in CYA mode….priceless.

Remember all those “liar loan” articles right after the bankster extortion?


Urban Redneck's picture

The problem with marketing the failed state as a product of a two tiered or dual track justice system is that the powers that be can eliminate most threats to their comfortable arrangement with a simple membership card to the other "club."  Angelides has been a card carrying member with full access privileges of the big money banker club for years via his calpers and calstrs positions. 

PulauHantu29's picture

interesting and perceptive article...nothing has changed.

falak pema's picture

Ah... Justice Warren and your started a spider's spiral with your magic bullet theory...that has spawned a thousand illegitimate sons...where once the beacon shone in all a place of darkness and crony profligate madness.

Herman Strandschnecke's picture

A good Constitution prevents diarrhea as they say. Well actually, they say a weak constitution causes diarrhea but it's the same thing.

nah's picture

2 million bankers are more important than 10million manufacturing workers


cuz banking has not proven profitiable, and manufacturing always has been... these banking scum hiding behind thier media MANIPULATIVE double speak... have the balls to tell the audiance that its not a democracy and 'it doesnt matter what the fuck they want' @min 4:11


way to go media/industrial complex

Pseudo Anonym's picture

if the criminals aren't prosecuted - we should hang the bankers

I don't particularly agree with Max that we should hang the bankers.  That objective is too vague and broad.  I would not want to see my squash partner, a branch manager, hanging from a lamp post in front of his house.  However, I think Max has the right idea.  Let's hang the hofjuden for starters.  And let's start with Rothschild gangsters.  After 300 years of fucking with the world, it's about time they got what they deserve - rope and lamp post.

jmc8888's picture

Oh I remember dipshit Charles Keating...and whatever happened to McCain on that one? Oh yeah, nothing.

But, at least many did go to prison, even if the S&L crisis was still handled poorly and in a very crony fashion, they still had to for appearences, destroy that many banksters by throwing them to the wolves.  It still wasn't shit, but we don't even get the fart today.

Then, like now, COULD NOT of ocurred, without Glass-Steagall being (for S&L weakened), and today's crisis, outright repealed.

So what should we do to make sure there isn't a 3rd...even worse one?



velobabe's picture

M A D  M A X, he is our man, if he can't do it, no one can†

Chuck Walla's picture

If the 7-11 robber knew enough to make big political contributions: (1) he'd have to rob bigger takes and (2) get better friends in higher places.

Rick64's picture

 Angelides is just a sideshow, this guy is part of the problem (Countrywide exemption from prosecution). If there is one thing we should have learned, its that you don't get the guys that caused the problem to fix it.

apberusdisvet's picture

When you look at, and examine the whole MERS fraud, you realize that the banksters have effectively destroyed property rights in this country.  The chain of title on millions of mortgages DOES NOT EXIST.  Now we have to ask:  was this a planned first step toward total property confiscation ( especially given the robo-judges) or was it just stupidity and/or arrogance?

FIAT_FixItAgainTony's picture

as one involved in a illegal foreclosure, i know it was a planned occurance without any doubt.  check the MERS website, many hints right there.  my research has been exhaustive. 

the law has been usurped and that cannot be allowed to continue.  i'm doing my part as best i can, but we need to unite and stop this once and for all.

stealing peoples homes and usurping the law is not a matter i take lightly.

people are endowed with certain unalienable rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  we had better stand for liberty before we fall for tyranny!

turn off the damn tee vee already america!  the next american idol will not save your or your neighbor's home.  only you can.

boiltherich's picture

Anyone just now grokking this fact, that justice is for sale to the highest bidder, has obviously never been poor.  Call me when they dust off the guillotines.

Crack-up Boom's picture

Truly, guillotines are too 18th C.  You have to think of biohazards in the 21st C.  Ok, boil the rich, but don't eat them (you can't possibly boil them long enough). 

Crack-up Boom's picture

Truly, guillotines are too 18thC.  You have to think of biohazards in the 21stC.  I.e., boil the rich, but don't eat them (you can't possibly boil them long enough).

Wyndtunnel's picture

Well the furor seems to be inching closer and closer to the MSM... No doubt the financial Elite have their escape pods ready and they better, because when the next crisis hits one would hope that the retribution be somewhat more immediate.

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

On behalf of the 0.1% percentile, I'm prepared to offer to redistribute 20% of the top 1% to the upper 60%.

Now go back to work.

boiltherich's picture

I am in awe of your creative side IC.  I laughed for the first time today when I saw your post.  But, should that not read "...go back to McWork?"

WaterWings's picture


Go back to McWork.

McViolence will be served until morale improves.

sgt_doom's picture

Outstanding blog posting, G.Dub, outstanding.

We have now witnessed the filing of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of false affidavits by the banksters, which equates to hundreds of thousands, or millions, of felonies.

Now that's a lot of crime.

Of course, a longtime expert on predatory jurisprudence is Thomas Linzey, a member of one of the smallest minorities in America, public-interest attorneys.  Mr. Linzey does an outstanding job of explaining exactly just what predatory jurisprudence is to those still uninformed on the subject.


ATG's picture

As Martin Armstrong, held in jail for over 7 years without trial learned,

97% of all convictions are not tried, but pleas bargained for reduced sentences

In his case, after almost killed by a violent cellmate without proper medical attention and held in solitary until senseless, he plea bargained and got an additional sentence without credit for time served

This was upheld by Sonia Sotomayor in appeal before she was voted onto the Supreme Court

After 11 years he was released into house arrest

Badabing's picture

It's a Nuthouse

AldousHuxley's picture

Greedy nation rulers care not the welfare of others or any laws prohibiting from meeting fundamental human greed.

Starving mob care not the welfare of the rich or any laws prohibiting from meeting fundamental human needs.

verum quod lies's picture

George - what are you talking about?

The US has the best judges and politicians that money can buy.

gbresnahan's picture

I'm in complete agreement with Max Keiser. We need to set an example of those responsible and send a *crystal clear* message that their bullshit is no longer tolerated.

DaveyJones's picture

Max passion like Matt's is exactly the rhetoric, motion and anger we need to get ourselves and those who represent ourselves to god damn do something. Something's wrong when iceland is the hottest place. 

WaterWings's picture

Agreed. With more time I'm sure Max would have pointed out that banker "mistakes" lead to bigger bonuses and happier shareholders.

Here's an interesting view from B9K9 today on why we have, and will always, face opposition from our fellow serfs:

The [sheeple] were bred to work outside in the fields for 12-14 hour days, in all kinds of weather, to not get sick, to keep their heads down, not to complain, etc. They were bred to appreciate simple comforts and entertainments, and provided with religion that offered a chance of hope for a better life afterward.


For thousands of years, if you didn't fit this profile, then you were simply killed or died off and your genes were not passed on. We joke about being monitored, but imagine holding these kinds of opinions during some previous eras. You don't think rulers kept a sharp look out for potential troublemakers, those who seemed to be brighter than the others and understood the nature of their game?


Don't blame the sheep - it's why they're sheep in the first place. Rather, focus on understanding events & opportunities, because my friend, what's occurring is a potentially one-in-a-thousand year event. Look to yourself and lead - don't look back and sneer.

tiger7905's picture

Unfortunately some sheep are a lot smarter than others. I don't think North American sheep are as smart an their brethren in areas like Eastern Europe in area's like Belarus that appear to be on the verge of a devaluation. One has to wonder how North American sheeple will react to that 'one in a thousand year event?

Some thoughts on how the likely upcoming Belarus devaluation may be different than if/when something similar happens in North America.

DaveyJones's picture

I love to hear B9K9 bark. We all should bite our leash

WaterWings's picture

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:

"Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." ...most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.


I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful.? For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.


"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.


"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."


If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.


Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

DaveyJones's picture

exactly, the sheepdog knows if all you do is bark, you'll be eaten.

Popo's picture

Keiser things hangings are a good idea.  

Personally I think sniper rifles will end up being the tool of choice.