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  •  i never made any claim (0+ / 0-)

    about them as people - as i said it wouldn't be interesting to anyone.  I think Fuld's accounting case was pretty bad, but i'm not sure it was a slam dunk.  And for what it's worth, I don't think they are pure evil, I think they're schmucks who can't possibly understand the breadth of what their organizations are up to, which is not inconsistent with also being criminals, just not master criminals.  I've dealt with folks at the MD level, and they just seem strikingly dull.

    Your second paragraph is fine as far as it goes, but it's kind of stifling argument.  Of course,if you read carefully, where I'm reluctant to pass judgment is on monday morning quarterbacking the attorneys responsible for enforcing the statutes at issue.  The banks are what they are, and should be regulated to protect everyone from their stupidity, overleverage, short-term thinking, and greed, as well as possible criminality, come to that.  That you have a hang-up about lawyers is fairly clear, and that you can convince yourself of the correctness of your own assumptions is also clear.  

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 03:19:50 PM PST

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    •  I have a problem with lawyers (0+ / 0-)

      because I've worked with them and seen how they operate, overbilling and dragging things out to jack up their fees, and pretending to give a shit about your problems. And not just in everyday civil matters, but ones involving the welfare of children and families. Most IMO simply do not care, except for the billables. They profit off off human suffering, and don't seem to care.

      Anyway, I don't think these bankers are Hitler. I do though think that they're human scum, devoting their considerable talents not to making the world a better place for all (while take a deservedly nice paycheck for it), but to profiting themselves and their buddies. That's a kind of lesser evil that deserves condemnation. Sure, most of these are probably not breaking the law, even if what they're doing is immoral and unethical IMO (e.g. what Romney did for a living, raiding solvent companies and destroying them). But some are, and I've worked for some myself, several levels down.

      The first firm tried to corner the treasuries market through fake shell bidders, clearly a crime at the time, and the other manipulated the dotcom investment banking sector to churn maximal fees (do the initials FQ & CSFB ring a bell?). And I know enough about what happened leading to the crash of '08 to understand that there's no way that major crimes weren't committed, of the sort that I mentioned above. Not merely stupid acts of blind greed (although there was that too, e.g. placing crazy bets on MBO's of the sort that AIG did), but actual crimes, like deliberate misrepresentation of an underlying security's risk, or lying to borrowers about a loan's terms, which I believe are crimes.

      Btw I've also worked for honest bankers, like one briefly who ended up writing Warren Buffet's biography a few years ago. She headed her bank's research division on certain kinds of insurance products, putting out analysis reports (which I helped put together) for the bank's clients' benefit so they could make informed decisions. I didn't detect any attempt at willful misrepresentation on her part. So I have nothing against bankers, per se, just the crooks and jerks.

      I hope they have good lawyers. I hope the government has better ones.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 03:49:35 PM PST

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      •  fair enough (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        i'm sorry you had bad experiences with lawyers.  Mr. Quattrone aside, I think where it gets tricky is the characterization of the deals: i'm not so sure it's obvious  levels of risk were so readily ascertainable up front for such illiquid products and when home prices were rising (especially as banks so often kept the riskiest tiers for themselves), and we did discuss the borrower-facing ones above, which did get prosecuted and was at some remove from the largest banks.  More common I'm sure was misleading marketing, but it's surprising how little disclosure is required for such an important transaction.  I'd want just more information to see whose lawyers were in fact better, because the question isn't whether the actus reus existed for a crime or crimes, but the degree of confidence one has in proving which ones, if the purpose of the exercise is to support a political conclusion about the agency heads' willingness to serve the public interest.    

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 04:12:56 PM PST

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