An Important (and Ignored) Trial

by: Marie2

Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 22:54:44 PM EDT


It's the subject of Matt Taibbi's latest The Scam Wall Street Learned From The Mafia.  Although I think he tends to begin too optimistically:

Someday, it will go down in history as the first trial of the modern American mafia. Of course, you won't hear the recent financial corruption case, United States of America v. Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm, called anything like that. If you heard about it at all, you're probably either in the municipal bond business or married to an antitrust lawyer. Even then, all you probably heard was that a threesome of bit players on Wall Street got convicted of obscure antitrust violations in one of the most inscrutable, jargon-packed legal snoozefests since the government's massive case against Microsoft in the Nineties - not exactly the thrilling courtroom drama offered by the famed trials of old-school mobsters like Al Capone or Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo.
Marie2 :: An Important (and Ignored) Trial
If noted at all in history, it will fall down the same memory hole as 99% of financial fraud cases over the past hundred years or so.  It shouldn't because like the trial of the Watergate burglars' trial, it provides a window into the much larger and more pervasive fraud that has essentially stolen the financial health and well-being of communities throughout the United States.

I may be inclined to write some on this later, but Taibbi covers all the important details so well that it's better to read what he's written.  And then take in his Notes On Wall Street Bid Rigging.

Yet I should now note that these crimes to my ears are more echoes of Tammany Hall corruption than Mafia style scams.*  RJ Eskew mentioned this last year in Want to Solve All Your Problems, Rupert Murdoch? Become a Banker.:

JPM has a long history as a serial corporate offender, and its crimes helped bring about a major financial collapse (although, come to think of it, so did the policies promoted by Murdoch's news organizations.) And we're not just talking about relatively genteel crimes like financial fraud. JPMorgan employees also committed down-and-dirty Tammany Hall-style crimes like bribery and bid-rigging. Bank employees spread $8 million around Jefferson County, Alabama to win municipal contracts, for example, and it took a settlement worth three-quarters of a billion dollars in fines and foregone fees to settle he case. (That's "billion," with a "b.")

Plus Eskew reminds us that Congressional fawning over Jamie Dimon didn't begin last week.

If you prefer to watch/listen and aren't too interested in the details, suggest Yves Smith and Matt Taibbi on Bill Moyers.

*History quiz: what New York politician knew the Tammany Hall scams and fought against that corruption?  

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