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Wall Street Fraud and Politics

May 6, 2008

“Why don’t we hold these Wall Street money brokers responsible for their role in this recession?” demanded Hillary Clinton at the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. Even Senator Clinton can’t resist the rhetoric potential posed by fraudulent money handlers as she seeks to curry favor with working class voters. Much of America wants banker-types to pay and pay big.

Yesterday, Clinton told a crowd in Indiana that OPEC “can no longer be a cartel, a monopoly that get together once every couple of months in some conference room in some plush place in the world” to set the price of oil. She reiterated her intention to use antitrust law to sue OPEC for price-fixing. I suppose that she would have U.S. citizens believe that she would govern the world. Unfortunately for the ilk of Clinton, U.S. law resides only within the borders of the nation. Experienced business people know that old-fashioned greed is at every level of the economy, even on a global scale.

Few are the people who recall that Wall Street is not a non-profit community driven by altruism or any sense of greater good, happily conning you out of your entire life savings if they could get away with it. The lies, deception, misdirection, false reporting, corruption, and fraud will be the topic of investigation by federal authorities. Federal authorities, in delayed response to the sub-prime mortgage crisis, have formed a task force to determine if lenders or Wall Street firms participated in fraud. They are being careful to state that they are not on a witch hunt. Bashing Wall Street and the banking industry is not the favorite task of government corporation-pleasers.

Fraud and speculation has played a huge role in what has resulted as an economic crisis. Early in the year, Deutsche Bank indicated that real estate speculators played a role in the debacle by grossly exaggerated income to qualify for the purchase of so many homes. The mortgage and banking industry failed to verify. House-flipping became all the rage as midnight infomercials plied the American public to take action in the investment game of the century. Bankers made life for speculators easy.

Evidence makes the case that mortgage brokers worked with real estate speculators to defraud investors by supplying false information. This was easy because little attempt to verify information was made. As a result banking derivatives have taken a beating and have frozen the banking market with fear and inaction. The art of the lie has become the seeds of what normally would have been economic destruction. The Federal Reserve has stepped in to save the day with more engineered capital to bolster confidence and replace frozen liquidity with ample artificial confidence.

In New York, FBI agents have made some early arrests in New York for 5 men involved with the likes of Morgan Stanley and Janney, Montgomery Scott LLC. These gentlemen are small time crooks compared to scope of the larger government investigation. Fraud is a perpetual matter of business that continues unabated because opportunity exists.

Government continues to churn out more rules, but the legislation of morality has not proved to be effective. George Bush proposed tough new standards for corporate fraud in 2002, but the political push yielded little in the results department. The action was more likely a ploy that actually assisted Wall Street and banker-brokers to bear the full fruit of their avarice.

Fraud has resulted from the continual collusion of forces between corporate entities and politicians as well. Some lawmakers like Senators Clinton and McCain have operated between the law for years, including benefiting from insider trading and investing because of personal position in Congress. The reality is not new, but news that the American voter has conveniently forgotten. Accountability on any level has been in short supply for years. Now the “white working class voter” has suddenly become responsible for the future of the United States.

The results of the ongoing FBI and SEC investigations will take years to complete. By that time, the country will have a new president. Hopefully, Americans will have made their choice based on accurate knowledge without being seduced by electioneering ploys.

E. Manning

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