Friday rant, Eliot Spitzer rehabilitation edition
Well, this week the Wall Street financial scandal delivered up a suitably farcical posterboy in Fabulous Fab, and we all had a good time with that, but let's not get distracted. Eliot Spitzer, writing with William Black at new deal 2.0 (tag-team typing?), asks some excellent questions:
Why have there been no criminal charges? Why did the SEC only name a relatively low-level Goldman officer in its complaint? Where are the prosecutors?
Yes, where are the prosecutors? The Goldman indictment aside, somehow the reported version of events has become that despite the fact that these deals were of a complexity that no human on earth, The Fab included, could possibly understand, the one thing everyone seems willing to assert with confidence is that "it was all perfectly legal."
Not MERELY legal in some technical sense, no, PERFECTLY legal. I'm not so sure about that, myself. Despite the fact that Wall Street made off with the money and most of the legal restrictions on its behavior, I'm guessing that there just may still be some laws about conducting and reporting fraudulent business, somewhere. And just possibly, some actual indictable HUMAN BEINGS might have been involved.
"Mistakes were made" gets you off the hook for small stuff. What we are talking about here is WANTONLY irresponsible behavior that had devastating consequences. The whole fabric of law and society is built on a foundation of accountability and punishment for malfeasance, which is every bit as important with regard to deterrence as new legislation. We'll know it when we see it, and we haven't seen it yet. --Tom Toles
Other Syndicated Editorial Cartoons:
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