08 April 2009

Where are the tumbrels?

Def: Tumbrel, Noun. A two wheeled horse cart with sides, similar to a dray.

Tumbrels were most notably used during the French Revolution to haul the nobility and other offenders off to the guillotine. They were carried barefooted through the streets as the populace spat upon them, threw stones, and the contents of chamber pots at them.

Harsh stuff.

But consider please the "crimes" and excesses of the banks and Wall Street and ask yourself if we ought not to take a few Wall Street Robber Barons for a tumbrel ride.

Consider the $85-billion bailout of AIG, whose executives immediately ganged together to splurge on a $442,000 weekend "retreat" at a posh Southern California resort. No doubt, to recover from the arduous task of putting together one of the biggest con jobs ever perpetrated on the American taxpayer.

Where are the tumbrels?

Consider the ensuing multi-billion dollar bailout of the banking industry and its more than five-million mortgage loans to indigents, credit risks, and under capitalized speculators. Those mortgage loans have been euphemized as "Toxic Assets". Toxic? I reckon. Assets? Hah!

Where are the tumbrels?

Remember when the first shoe hit the floor? I'll remind you. Lehaman Brothers or was it Bear Sterns? BS, I think. The stock was degraded and then the company was handed over, lock stock and barrel to JP Morgan. Quickly after that the Fed decided to bail out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. We had apt warning that big trouble was coming, and it was going to cost us a ton.

As one insider, supposedly aghast, put it, "if you want to know who is to blame, there are only two places to look: the financiers themselves and the nonfeasance of a feckless SEC!"

Where are the tumbrels?

Enter the FBI. Back in September 2008, the FBI began to take seriously the potential criminality behind these events: Lehman Brothers, Freddie and Fannie, and AIG. In less than a year the wide-reaching inquiry has grown from targeting 14 major firms to at least 26. The G-men (and women) aim is to determine whether any company executives had any responsibility through misinformation, material misinformation, and misstated assets, which caused the financial woes of the institutions being investigated.

Oil up the wheels of the tumbrels! Heads are going to roll!

Coming tomorrow, naming the names of those who should be taking a tumbrel ride.

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