Imagine that in 2008, instead of bailing out bankers who made criminally risky investments with investors' and depositors' money, we arrested them, bailed out the victims, and let better bankers take over. That is what Iceland did, meeting with a remarkably hushed silence in the American media.
You mean you can arrest a banker? Make them feel steel around their wrists just like anyone else? As Sarah Palin would say, you betcha.
Now it comes out, after Bernie Sanders' and Ron Pauls' recent partial audit of the Federal Reserve, that the Fed has issued another $16 trillion in bail-outs to banks, some of them not even American.
The Fed's $16 Trillion Bailouts Under-reported
Tracey Greenstein, Contributor
The media’s inscrutable brush-off of the Government Accounting Office’s recently released audit of the Federal Reserve has raised many questions about the Fed’s goings-on since the financial crisis began in 2008.
The audit of the Fed’s emergency lending programs was scarcely reported by mainstream media – albeit the results are undoubtedly newsworthy. It is the first audit of the Fed in United States history since its beginnings in 1913. The findings verify that over $16 trillion was allocated to corporations and banks internationally, purportedly for “financial assistance” during and after the 2008 fiscal crisis.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) amended the Wall Street Reform law to audit the Fed, pushing the GAO to step in and take a look around. Upon hearing the announcement that the first-ever audit would take place in July, the media was bowled over and nearly every broadcast network and newspaper covered the story. However, the audit’s findings were almost completely overlooked, even with a number as high as $16 trillion staring all of us in the face.
Sanders press release, dated July 21st, stated:
“No agency of the United States government should be allowed to bailout a foreign bank or corporation without the direct approval of Congress and the president.”
Now before anyone starts spinning that what Iceland did reeks of socialism, let's remember that here in the good old US we only socialize the losses, while keeping the profits private. It is the height of hypocrisy to say that arresting banksters is socialism.
Watch Cenk in his usual inimitable way explain how we can learn a lot from Iceland, in the video below.
AFP May 2010:
Bankers jailed, sued as Iceland seeks culprits for crisis
Ice News Jan. 2011:
By Haukur Holm (AFP) – May 12, 2010
REYKJAVIK — More than a year and a half after Iceland's major banks failed, all but sinking the country's economy, police have begun rounding up a number of top bankers while other former executives and owners face a two-billion-dollar lawsuit.
More Icelandic bankers arrested
2012: Cenk on what we can learn from Iceland
20 January 2011.
Iceland’s special prosecutor into the banking crisis has confirmed that raids have taken place today and that arrests have been made. The Central Bank of Iceland is among the institutions under investigation.
Special Prosecutor, Olafur Thor Hauksson told Visir.is that house searches are taking place in at least three places today as part of investigations into the central bank, MP Bank and Straumur Bank...
At Crooks and Liars, photographs of the former Icelandic bankers who left their country after the financial crash were stuck on the urinals. (AFP: Olivier Morin, file photo)