Guest Post: Should Corrupt Bankers Face the Death Penalty?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Azizonomics

Should Corrupt Bankers Face the Death Penalty?

Doing God's Work?

Let’s be clear: financial misdeeds ruin lives. If a Madoff takes your money and uses it to pay off other investors in a ponzi scheme, you won’t be able to get it back. If a Blankfein underling issues you with misleading advice, and then bets against you (creaming himself a nice profit), you won’t be able to get it back. If a Corzine steals your money and uses it to bet on the European sovereign debt market, you might not be able to get it back. You might end up in poverty or worse. You might lose your children’s college money, your retirement money, or capital you needed for your business. You might lose your home.

So shouldn’t we take a tough line against financial misdeeds? Shouldn’t tricking and stealing from investors, tricking and stealing from the public, tricking and stealing from clients carry a heavy disincentive, like death? Would a corrupt banker not think twice about their misdeeds if they knew that apprehension would mean a noose around their neck and a kicked bucket?

Certainly there is a popular impression that big-time criminals with titles, status and MBAs get it easy, while protestors (sometimes protesting the misdeeds of big-time criminals) get shafted by the hyper-vigilant modern security state:

A lot of commentators — like for example, Max Keiser — seem to think so.

And in China financial crimes are treated with a gravity far beyond a cushy minimum security cell, and home visits on the weekends.

Financial criminals in China are often executed.

From Wiki:

China has executed bankers for fraudulent activity:

  • Wang Liming, former accounting officer, China Construction Bank, Henan, with others stole 20 million yuan ($2.4 million in U.S. Currency) from the bank using fraudulent papers, executed.
  • Miao Ping, an accomplice in the same case, executed.
  • Wang Xiang, same bank in an unrelated case, also executed for taking 20 million yuan from the bank.
  • Liang Shihan, Bank of China, Zhuhai, executed for helping cheat his bank out of $10.3 million US.

In a recent case, Wu Ying, a 28-year-old woman, will soon be put to death for taking out multi-million dollar loans from investors she was unable to pay back.

We in the West appear to have a problem; financial crimes ruin lives, but financial criminals either get away with a comparatively small fine (like Goldman did after they misled clients), a cushy prison cell, or sometimes even a taxpayer funded bailout.

Simply, they keep the upside of their behaviour, and pass the downside off to someone else (either a sucker investor, or a junior partner, or the taxpayer).

Hammurabi, the Babylonian King, had a simple principle for dealing with such bullshit:

If a builder builds a house and the house collapses and causes the death of the owner – the builder shall be put to death. If it causes the death of the son of the owner, a son of that builder shall be put to death.

Exact equivalence; you destroy someone’s livelihood, and your livelihood shall be destroyed. Such justice would leave a lot of people, and not just bankers — Dick Cheney, John Yoo, Larry Summers, Tim Geithner — with a lot to fear.

But would it work? Well, China executes bankers — as well as corrupt party leaders, (watch out, Bo Xilai) — and bankers in China keep screwing investors and the nation.

I think the biggest problem with capital punishment is that it is administered by the state (or the mob) and that means that very often it is administered to the wrong people, for corrupt or flawed reasons. Putting the power of life and death in the hands of the state is quite dangerous. More likely than not, the person executed will end up being the innocent junior intern (“take one for the team, buddy!”) while the corrupt CEO enjoys a retirement of golf courses, hookers, viagra, and oxycontin.

A much better goal to aspire to is the end of bailouts, and the end of firing off wads of QE-dollars to preserve badly-run (but well-connected) companies and systems (zombification).

Still, in matters of financial fraud I think it is important to seek out equivalent justice; you destroy a livelihood, we take your trust fund, and your Swiss bank account to compensate the victim. The status quo — where regulators shoot off tiny fines for huge financial crimes — is a joke.

But the best way to punish Goldman Sachs (etc) for their misdeeds is to not bail them out the next time their hyper-fragile leverage-driven business model fails them and they end up over a barrel. It is quick, dirty and emotionally satisfying to talk of executions, but giving the state the power over life and death has far bigger, and far more dangerous consequences, not to mention huge potential for abuse.

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DaveyJones's picture

do vultures fly?

GetZeeGold's picture



They sip champagne in France.




Oh wait.....he is.


Pladizow's picture

No - the answer is televised castration performed by a family member!

resurger's picture

fuck that, - public beheading or immolation

johnu1978's picture

That should work wonders in keeping the Satanic Gypsies in line!


Edible Plant Tours

Badabing's picture

Makem work the chain gang!

SilverIsKing's picture

We should take a page out of Singapore's criminal justice system.  Crime would go down if penalties were so severe, although many libtards would call it unjust.  They would argue that innocent people who are found guilty of crimes may be put to death without having a chance of redemption but there would be a lot less crime so the risk/reward is definitely worth it.  Many more resources would be available to do a better job in determining the guilt or innocence of an individual charged with a crime.

That said, if the guys running the show remain corrupt and only the small fish get prosecuted, all bets are off on my statement above.

Max Hunter's picture

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.” Mahatma Gandhi

The Big Ching-aso's picture



Shit.  Ya start executing banking criminals who the hell's gonna be left to run the country?

Colombian Gringo's picture

Banksters are  still a good start.

strannick's picture

What about complicit CFTC and SEC regulators? At least a public scourging?

Donnie Duvanie's picture

Tie them up and hand them over the people who hold our national debt. Then tell them that we're not going to pay it. 

zhandax's picture

Apparently the author, like 99% of the USSA, has forgotten that the Republic that the Constitutional framers created gives power to pronounce the death sentence to the people, not the state.  "Jury of your peers" anyone?  Of course there is a mountain of garbage to be tossed in the dump to get back to that Republic.

redpill's picture


I prefer the Swiss model where the bank executives can be held personally liable, and as a result there are very few Swiss bank failures.

BLOTTO's picture

The World can no longer afford the global elite.

Costs too much.

Time for them to go.

flattrader's picture

From the Taibbi article on the Vampire Squid--


>>>"You put Lloyd Blankfein in pound-me-in-the-ass prison for one six-month term, and all this bullshit would stop, all over Wall Street," says a former congressional aide. "That's all it would take. Just once."<<<

The Big Ching-aso's picture



We do the opposite than China/Singapore. Here the incentive's the more ya steal the greater the reward.

victor82's picture

Yes, but how would that apply to the five Romney draft-age sons and their dear old dad?




DaveyJones's picture

darn it, why didn't we think of that. What's that? It's called a corrupt state

connda's picture

Unfortunately that will never happen because they hold the reins of the governments. 

If executions do happen, it will be after a major social upheaval where the status quo is turned on its head.  But if history is a reminder, such social upheavals often end up consuming both the losers and the victors, as the lines demarcating good and bad become blurred.  Case in point: French Revolution Reign of Terror. 

Joeman34's picture

It's called the Fiduciary Standard.  Believe it or not, many organizations in this country are currently held to this standard.  The issue is, the TBTF banks are held to the Suitability Standard, i.e. the product need only be suitable for the customer and not necessarily the best solution. 

The problem is, if the TBTF banks adopt Fiduciary Standard, they could no longer make the kind of money they’re accustomed to making.  Hence it likely won't happen.


tmosley's picture

Not for regular crime.  Regular crime is caused in large part by the poverty brought on by the illegal activities of central bankers and politicians.  And perhaps military personnel during wartime.  Those are the only people who should be subject to capital punishment, and it should be used often enough that none of them dares to be corrupt.

The people should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of the people.

DaveyJones's picture

well said. I am having a harder and harder time working in the criminal justice system watching the biggest criminals in the history of this country destroy the rest of us. This has long been no longer about the law. It's fear and critical mass. 

DeadFred's picture

The market must be up and Ponzied again if Tyler feels we need a lift by pairing the idea of hanging with a photo of Blankfein. Nice fantasy but we still have that 'Holder' problem don't we? Still, thanks for the smile.

TheGardener's picture

Singapore`s justice system even has a severe preemptive measure against (voter) corruption before it can occur :
seize the assets of an opposition politician under libel laws.

But I appreciate the point you are trying to make SilverI
and how at the end you take it all back ...

Road Hazard's picture

Silver, you do realize that repugtards are just as guilty as democrats of taking bribes and bailing out wallstreet, don't ya? From your comments, I see you as another tool. Go listen to faux noise and rush "poppin' pills" limpuke and push women's rights back 200 years.


bernorange's picture

What Would Jesus Do?  Oh yeah, he didn't care for the money changers either. 

Deo vindice's picture

Slight correction but an important one.

It wasn't the money-changers per se, but that they were desecrating the temple by carrying on their work there.

What Jesus really was angry about was that the money-changers believed they were doing "God's work".


wisefool's picture

Yup. It was a complicated system you had to follow just to worship, with the alterior motive that you might just tithe to the system and let it guide your actions on earth, forgeting about the temple itself.

Sounds like an 80,000 page tax code to me, whose original (well intended) purpose was to catch gangsters. .... Not working out to well when the SEC and IRS are scared shirtless of the Romney/Immelt types. Most of their tax breaks are for supposed contingencies that should not create windfalls. They then get the code changed after they horde the profits so that they can keep the windfall after all, before renumeration would be due in subsequent filings.

The current tax code is not Gods work. Maybe the other guy ......

DeadFred's picture

Then they had a religious system set up with different levels of access. The outer sanctum of the temple was the section where non-Jews could come to be with God. Only Jews were allowed into the inner sanctum. The money changers hawking their wares had completely filled the outer sanctum cutting off access to non-Jews and making it an unsavory place to be.

Today we have a financial system set up with different levels of access...

The Big Ching-aso's picture



Ya.   A penile system of justice.

valley chick's picture

And the punishment for treason is.......??????  nuff said.

cranky-old-geezer's picture



Yes, defrauding the American people is treason, and we already have laws for treason.

But Wall Street bankers aren't the ones committing treason, Ben Bernanke is.  He's the one printing currency and swapping it for worthless securities like MBS and treasuries that will never be paid back.

I agree with prosecuting bankers for treason, but let's make sure we prosecute the ones actually committing treason, not the beneficiaries.

Prosecute the Fed chairman for treason and execute him.  That would solve 99% of all the looting by the government and Wall Street. The government couldn't keep borrowing money they'll never pay back.  Wall Street bankers couldn't keep selling worthless crap to the Fed, and they'd go bankrupt.  With the presses shut down the dollar would stop losing value.

And if congress renews Fed's charter next year, prosecute every one of them who votes for it for treason and execute them.

CharlieSDT's picture

I propose we put all the bankers who received more than 1 mil in Xmas bonuses any of the last several years in a giant bag with all their politician muppets.  Then when you hit the bag you always know you're hitting the right one.

Oh regional Indian's picture

There is no obvious connect, unlike th ebulder and house example.

That is the beauty of the scheme. Money is once removed from the system, from reality that is. It finds value only as currency, every-time a trade occurs. 

Money is a mirage, how can you prosecute a mirage?

I found this fascinating little bit of in-formation:


The "50 State" series of quarters (25-cent coins) was launched in the U.S. in 1999. The U.S. government planned on a large number of people collecting each new quarter as it rolled out of the U.S. Mint, thus taking the pieces out of circulation[citation needed]. Each set of quarters is worth $14.00 (a complete set includes quarters for all fifty states, the five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia). Since it costs the Mint about five cents for each 25-cent piece it produces, the government made a profit whenever someone "bought" a coin and chose not to spend it.[4] The U.S. Treasury estimates that it has earned about US$6.3 billion in seigniorage from the quarters over the course of the entire program.[5]

In some cases, national mints report the amount of seigniorage provided to their respective governments; for example, theRoyal Canadian Mint reported that in 2006 it generated $C93 million in seigniorage for the Government of Canada.[6] The US government, the largest beneficiary of seignorage, earned approximately $25 billion annually as of 2000.[7]


Fascinating eh? Look at the USG, a total pig at the trough.

25 Billion and that was in 2,000..... what do monetary aggregate graphs look like from then to now? Going vertical in a sea of liquidity.

Seig-nio-RAGE FTW!




Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Same with the 2 dollar bills. they are out of circulation in shoe boxes. Same with dollars outside the US.


DeadFred's picture

At least for the moment. The minute the dollar is no longer considered safe all that money under mattresses in Qatar will suddenly come into circulation. DXY=10. It won't happen soon but the sword is hanging by a thread over our heads. Fortunately no one in power would put the dollar in jeopardy would they?

eatthebanksters's picture

This article made me feel better than any I have read in a long time....maybe we ought to use the 'revolving door policy' and let the public pick 10 senior banking execs each year to execute; maybe then they'd really work to be good guys and gals!

TheGardener's picture

Sorry tale is that in dictatorships, when they started hanging, WORSE people showed up to make up for the post
just recently made abundant .

noses's picture

Agreed. Castration by using a modified corkscrew, letting them bleed to deat afterwards.

XitSam's picture

"No - the answer is televised castration performed by a family member!"

But what about Blythe?

rotagen's picture

Carlin had it right.  Death by slowly lowering into a vat of boiling oil.  Charge admission, televise it, get organized crime interested by betting on how many minutes they survive.  Drawn and quartered would be fun too.  I say tar and feathers before the hot oil, call it a turkey roast.