The Madoff Ponzi scheme fleeced thousands of investors out of $17 billion. Small change though when it comes to professional criminals. Madoff was small potatoes, only 4800 suckers involved; $13 billion or 75% has been clawed back.
Yes as alluded to in our title we are talking about the elite captains of industry here, those who were responsible for multi billion dollar scams reaching back decades; and yet none have ever seen the inside of a jail cell. How come? They were too big to jail. Oh we must mention, most not all were Democrats.
For instance another example is the implosion of Wachovia Corporation; a once honorable bank that collapsed like a cheap suit during the financial crisis of 2008. They fell on a knife of their own making by taking over World Savings. Shareholders lost $150 billion. Their savior Wells Fargo scooped them up for pennies on the dollar.
A quick glance around the graveyard for other skeletons that stand out finds a tombstone with the name of General Motors, now carrying the nom de guerre, Government Motors. Stockholders of yesteryear can tell you about the company crashing to junk. Billions lost, then the Uncle bailed them out of bankruptcy. No arrests though; guess it was the stupidity of management that caused the hit and run. Forgot to mention, this was a union bailout-most are of the Democrat persuasion.
MF Global was only a blur on the radar screen, but they pulled another scam, mingling customer money with house cash; however, there was no house cash – it burned up a long time ago. And who was the architect of this mini scam? None other than the Democrat paisano named Jon Corzine. Remember him? Corzine denied this, but coughed up $5 million to get off the hook. His bio was a liberal path to success, once the governor of New Jersey, before that he was a Wall Street man, scamming the little guy at Goldman Sachs. MF Global went down faster than the Hindenburg. One of the 12 largest bankruptcies in U.S. history.
This leads us to General Electric, the once iconic company admired by all, including the press, Wall Street and politicians; and run by ruthless captains of industry. Today GE is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Share price implosion has wiped out at last count $600,000,000,000; that is 600 billion. The one thing that that got our attention is the decades of growth consistency quarter by quarter, year by year. This was awesome, but as we find out, the chefs were in the kitchen cooking the books. Financial maneuvering taking place on all of the Viking back burners.
However, there is no consolation for long term shareholders – they are taking it on the chin. But no one is being held responsible for this cavalcade of calamities. We wonder why the GE auditors(KMPG) have not been charged; after all they blessed the books throughout the years. Were they in collusion with management?
But last but not least are the previous heads of GE, Jack Welch and Jeffrey Immelt. Why are they untouchable? Are they responsible for committing financial crimes of gigantic proportions? If not, we now know that the “too big to fail, too big to jail” doesn’t apply to the little guy. They always pay the price.