Big article today about our home town bank, the Bank of America. Seems the bank has been committing fraud, selling investment instruments that were largely worthless. The details escape me, mainly because I no longer care, so I have trouble reading these articles about fraudulent banks all the way through.
I concluded some time ago that global banks should be considered part of the world’s largest organized crime ring. They make the Mafia look like little kid hucksters. So, when a bank is taken to court by the SEC or anyone man enough to confront them, it gladdens my heart. I wonder how many people are now trying to figure out how to survive their retirement, now that the Bank has made their retirement investments worthless?
So, what should we do about such things?
Well, I for one like to consider going back to something Judge Tony (aka Scalia) made possible. Tony asserted, and got his right wing buddies to approve, the premise that corporations are persons. So, why is that important? Well, it occurs to me that, if the Bank of America, was defrauding other folks (including other corporate folks), then the Bank of America itself should be held accountable, as part of a conspiracy. So, not only can the Bank officers be brought to judgment, but the Bank itself can also be brought to judgment. And what do I mean by “brought to judgment”? Well, let’s suppose the charges against the Bank and its officers holds up in court and that the Bank is found guilty of fraud—a felony I believe. So, what’s such a felony worth in prison time? Well, let’s say 5-10 years in a federal penitentiary.
I am thinking that, since Corporations are now persons, that the corporation and its officers should be sentenced to actual prison time. So, let’s say the Bank of America gets a 5-10 year sentence in some federal prison (I so wish that Alcatraz were still open). That means that a cell would be reserved for the Bank—mainly I guess its formal charter or its certificate as a corporation, placed carefully in a nice box and placed carefully on the bed. And, the Bank as a person could of course no longer operate as a corporation, so the bank would essentially close for 5-10 years. Now we would have to make some provision for ordinary folks to remove their money and assets from the bank prior to executing the sentence. Then the Bank (its papers of incorporation) would be placed in that box and locked away for 5-10 years. After the Bank had demonstrated that it could behave, maybe it would be granted probation and allowed to resume banking, assuming of course anyone still cared.
Now that would be an adequate payment for wrongdoing. Perhaps it might even make other global bankers a bit more cautious about their current plans to screw the public once again. AP Giannini would be so proud.
Just a thought.