The short answer to Dr Alf’s question
English: Wall Street sign on Wall Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Lehman Brothers Rockefeller centre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Whilst it is true that the real architects of the Global financial crisis and those who profited from the collapse of Lehman Brothers are not in prison, the Americans are more effective at financial regulation.
This, in that some of the HSBC money launderers of Mexican drug money were brought to book, the directors of Worldcom and Enron were brought to book, and a number of Wall Street traders and the Madoffs, Milikens and Boeskys are behind bars.
In this sense at least, the American system is at least prepared to apportion blame and deal severely with high-profile miscreants and lock up some pretty big scapegoats.
Iceland goes further with its super-bailiff, who has the power to go after anyone and is succeeding as evidenced by the speed at which financial criminals are being tried and convicted and imprisoned.
Private Eye, the satirical magazine used to call the FSA the “Financially Supine Authority” and the old Department of Trade and Industry the “Department of Timidity and Inaction”. They were right then and the so-called Financial Conduct Authority is in the same mould, staffed with intellectual lightweights who City miscreants can run rings round.
Even when it is quite clear that blame needs to be apportioned and directors sent to prison nothing ever happens.
The former directors of Equitable life live like quasi Roman emperors whilst their former policyholders die off, often cheated out of hundreds and thousands of pounds, the working population which now practically owns RBS is going to be hair-cutted again, whilst the directors ponder ways to circumvent the bonus cap by increasing salaries of key staff.
The former directors of RBS, the men who brought that once great company to ruin have not been imprisoned, not been tried and have not been made to pay and the director of HSBC who was in charge when the Mexican drug lords sent their minions to bank branches with bags of cash specifically designed to fit the bank teller windows, ended up in David Cameron’s Government.
The Libor rate fixing scandal has to my knowledge not seen a single arrest, conviction or imprisonment yet within 2.5 miles of where I live North Herts. District Council presses hard for the imprisonment of benefit fraudsters who have obtained anything in excess of £2000 gbp.
The fraud departments of the banks work with the police to prosecute and jail credit card and mortgage fraudsters who have stolen in excess of £10,000 gbp yet for those at the top who have stolen or acquired by dubious means, millions, the penalty is being ordered to apologiZe to a toothless House of Commons Committee, go home and count their money.
Government Ministers often owe their positions to plutocrats, like for example, Lord Rothschild who owns and controls numerous banks, so they are not going to risk his displeasure by going after anybody of importance.
We are asked to believe in fairy tales, supposedly Barings was brought down by a “single rogue trader “, Nick Leeson and no Barings directors or senior managers knew about his activities and the fact that the company was trading insolently.
With directors of smaller companies, there is a presumption that directors should have known which leads to a charge of wrongful trading but never with big ones.