I keep hearing about how the banks have not been held accountable and they are still profiting madly (and maddeningly) from the bailouts and the fact that they are still being propped up by tax payer money now.
Add to this the fact that the same guys who were in charge then are still in charge now. Not only that, but many of them got record bonuses that year because on paper they made record profits… Because of the bailouts.
Now, I tend to agree with most people this far. It sucks that this happened. The bankers involved should be jailed, not given bonuses. This is where it gets a bit messed up, and where many in the mainstream media seem to get confused. I am going to use words that may sound very capitalistic for a few moments, but it is unavoidable since we are talking about banks.
The people in the media, who quite often are relatively intelligent people so I won’t call them idiots, actually feel sorry for and want to protect the investors while finding a way to punish the bankers. They WANT the banks to be held financially liable for what they did, but they DON’T want to hold the investors accountable.
What the fuck do they think investing means? The investors, the shareholders specifically, OWN the banks. It is THEIR investment. The guys that the bleeding heart types want to hold entirely accountable (and they should be held to account. I am not saying they should not), are employees of the bank, and not owners.
Yes, those with fiduciary/fiscal responsibilities and authority should be held accountable when they fuck up. That does not mean however that their bosses should be given expensive parachutes and a padded drop zone to escape the results of allowing the whole thing to crash.
Do we want to protect the economy? Yes.
Do we want to protect the depositors? Yes.
Do we want to protect the people directly responsible, and the ones who hired them to do it? Hell no.
Thousands of small business ventures get started and die every year because someone messed up somewhere along the way.
Thousands of long standing businesses collapse and close up shop every year, because of market pressures or because someone just screwed up.
Millions of people lose their jobs when this happens.
What do they get in the way of protection? Well, if they had their paperwork in order they can file it as a loss on their income taxes. That is it. Nothing else. They can file bankruptcy if they figure out what is going on in time. Beyond that, they and their investors are pretty much screwed.
When the crash came, we (the tax payers) bailed the banks out. THAT was our token gesture to the investors. How do they repay us? They gave record bonuses to the idiots that did it. This is called complicity. This is called approval of behavior. That action effectively absolved me of any pity I might have for them when it came to the issue of who to hold accountable.
If the banks are too big to fail, then one of two things needs to happen. Either they need to divide them up majorly, or they need to take them over. Nationalize the suckers and keep them nationalized until such a time as they can once again be able to operate without being “too big to fail.”
Yes, that means using tax payer dollars to insure the deposits… But we already do that, and the depositors are not at fault.
I will make one caveat to my above comments, and that is this: The first banks to nationalize should be the reserve banks… With no provision to ever privatize them again. Their role in our economy is too important to allow them to follow the same sort of stupid behaviors that banks are expected to make. On top of that, it would bring our current currency more in line with the guidelines provided by the constitution. Our government is supposed to generate money, not privatized banks.