Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crime and punishment

Congressman Michael E. Capuano does his job today, flaying the banks (htp: Jesse). I tried to email congratulations to him, but I haven't got a Massachusetts zip code.

And Karl Denninger also:

If the law enforcement agencies in this nation do not start prosecuting the fraudsters in our banking and investment industry that caused this economic collapse (and "token prosecutions" like Madoff will not cut it), and our lawmakers (and President) do not stand up darn soon and call for this prosecutorial action in public there is a very real risk that a repeat of those sordid affairs will soon arrive...
This much is clear to me - high-dollar white-collar crimes, certainly those with an impact greater in aggregate than we currently value a single human life (which various estimates put somewhere between $5 and $50 million each) are deserving of punishment equivalent to murder, meaning either (depending on state law) life imprisonment without possibility of parole or a sentence of death.
We need to put this change into the law as a deterrent against such acts in the future.

They're coming round to my point of view, as expressed e.g. here.


John said...

I am so glad there are members of Congress like Mr. Capuano who have nothing but the best interests of their constituents in mind. Can they help it if over the last dozen or so years GSEs and other federal programs were running up huge liabilities? Who knew?

So with regard to things that the Congress could control—see above—there is no accountability or apology, but over stuff they cannot control—banks' trading in SIVs, for example—there is the theatre of moral outrage.

Plus sa change, . . .

Sackerson said...

Fair point, John, and the wave of accountability may well roll on. Perhaps that may explain the vehemence of some politicians' comments re the bankers at this time.

Paddington said...

As with the video previously, it's nice to see a member of Congress doing their jobs, apparently without influence from special interests.