Worse Than We Even Imagined

By James Kwak

I’m giving a talk at the UConn Law School reunions tomorrow, and one of my closing points is about the plethora of banking crimes/scandals/whoopsies that we’ve seen in the past few years—even those having nothing to do with the financial crisis. This is the slide I created to illustrate the point:

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 3.01.01 PM


I know I’m forgetting a few, but I figured that was enough. It does really take your breath away.

28 thoughts on “Worse Than We Even Imagined

  1. It’s worth noting that the only actual arrests were made outside of the U.S. If you’re a U.S. felonious company, pay your fine and just be more careful next time.

  2. There’s not even a deterrent to getting caught, since the fines are less than the gains. Just the costs of doing (fraudulent) business.

  3. The greatest challenge we all face is neither confronting the egregious behaviors of TBTF Banks or the continuous revelations of many venalities arising from regulatory capture, it is our own tumbling towards cynicism or worse–a bland acceptance that these travesties are simply smart business as usual.

    It’s even more difficult to change systemic behaviors and conditions once we abandon our belief in common decency as the baseline scenario for reestablishing personal and professional dealings. Yes, intentions matter greatly in the achieved success of all change interventions, and so does the initial framing of the context to be changed, if not more so…

  4. James, Good luck tomorrow. You can tell it like it is, which is the ongoing criminal financial element killing our world. Let’s see your talk go viral. Appeal to the ethics and morals of the young to combat the jaded oligarchy that has destroyed American democracy. We can take it back if we work together very hard. I believe in you James.

  5. The people who masterminded WWII for Germany was the executives at
    I.G.Farbin who got according to the U.S. persecutor “Averdict that would have pleased a chicken theif.”

  6. Christina, you can’t very well take anything back working together very hard, in a soft economy, you’re about to trick yourself into a wrong doing.

  7. Don’t forget Goldman Sachs has been called on the carpet for its HFT practices. This was in early May of this year. A lot of those activities which were causing very strange price movements on the exchanges were curbed RIGHT AFTER Schneiderman said he was looking into it (and people always curb LEGAL activities don’t they??? You stopped driving your car after that speeding ticket didn’t you??). Of course the Justice Department followed Schneiderman’s lead once the sans testicles Eric Holder thought he could get some headlines out of it to disrupt attention from his “Fast and Furious” fiasco (which the little d i c k-less twerp is still scared they’re going to get him for. Of course, if the keystone cops “Fast and Furious” operation had worked Eric Holder would have told us the base of operations was being run from his office desk seat step-by-step as he gave detailed instruction by headset microphone, at which point at the [hypothetical] press conference announcing “Fast and Furious” success all Dept of Justice employees would have laughed coffee out of their nose).

  8. Who gets the “fine” $$$$…..??? The same circle jerk of actors – none of the fine $$ goes to the people who were wronged…

    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

    Liceform programming – incapable of understanding that when their host gets sucked dry, they die next.

    It’s a game to GenXers – have to accept the FACT that there is nothing there – they are Nihilists – began with “….no more paper…”

    The iniquity is at the top, though. 911 was an inside job. Somehow, the “cynicism” doesn’t extend to that event being orchestrated as the greatest “deadbeat” feat ever…how far they go not to pay….

    No one has a DUTY to be “ruled” by the insane – thought everyone figured that out after WWII….

  9. I’m always detecting that troubling link with you Moses, but i’m gonna let it slide until the very end, cause you wouldn’t have it any other way.

  10. “One big difference between West Coast and East Coast oligarchs is that a lot fewer people lionize the Eastern ones. Even though the media and sadly too many regulators treat the likes of Lloyd Blankfein with far too much deference, the broader public has wised up. Even MBAs, who normally side with the rich and powerful, have asked me, “When is Jamie Dimon going to jail?”

    “But Silicon Valley’s royalty occupy a class of their own, the toast of TED talks and the model for aspiring entrepreneurs the world over. And the admiration is particularly strong among the rank and file workers in the San Francisco area. So it’s more than a bit ironic to see that these titans of technology engaged in a formal arrangement to suppress pay to the tune of $9 billion across Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, and Pixar.”

    “….The government’s case, as summarized by Mark Ames at Pando, is chock full of damning e-mails among top executives, which reveal Steve Jobs to have been the lead actor and main enforcer of the pay-containment pact, which dates to 2005. But its real mastermind was George Lucas, who had a similar scheme in place in the 1980s and enlisted Jobs when he sold the computer animation division of Lucasfilm to Pixar. As Pixar went independent in 1986, Lucas explained his philosophy about how competition for computer engineers violated his sense of normalcy — and profit margins.”

    “Translated, Lucas’ wage-reduction agreement meant that Lucasfilm and Pixar agreed to:
    a) never cold call each other’s employees;
    b) notify each other if making an offer to an employee of the other company, even if that employee applied for the job on his or her own without being recruited;
    c) any offer made would be “final” so as to avoid a costly bidding war that would drive up not just the employee’s salary, but also drive up the pay scale of every other employee in the firm.”

    “Jobs held to this agreement, and used it as the basis two decades later to suppress employee costs just as fierce competition was driving up tech engineers’ wages.”

  11. “Steve Jobs, who was the ex CEO of popular Apple brand has passed away on October 5 th 2011.”

  12. I rarely leave responses, but i did a few searching and
    wound up here Worse Than We Even Imagined | The Baseline Scenario.
    And I do have some questions for you if you
    do not mind. Could it be just me or does it appear like some of these remarks come across
    like left by brain dead people? :-P And, if you are posting at other
    online social sites, I’d like to follow everything new you
    have to post. Could you make a list of all of all your community pages like your Facebook page,
    twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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  17. The Middle East situation – all the “revolutions” – is a DIRECT RESULT of there never being a Nuremberg-like Trial where the whole world stops as “crimes against humanity” are clearly spelled out and the case is made for who is guilty of using “ism” wars to commit those crimes.

    As MSM blathered on endlessly this week, reviewing the 20 year anniversary of the OJSimpson trial for murder and how for a generation of viewers, that was their moon-landing event, how they all stopped to watch together and everyone remembers where they were….

    A review of the Iraq 2003 “visit” from USA should be just as judicially entertaining, no?

    It’s all about the $$$$ – there was no booty from Iraq to off set the 6 trillion (or wha’ever), so they got the taxpayers to provide booty to the banksters, anyway….

    No Nuremberg, no “victory” against Nihilism, Anarchy and self-worship (More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME)

    Russia and China need to step up and have that Trial. Otherwise, the Middle East will blow itself up rather than live with the bat sht crazy nihilism and anarchy of banksters enforcing the GLOBAL interests of the War, Drug and Slave Lords – that being their NWO “ism” that HUMAN BEINGS DO NOT HAVE THE INALIENABLE RIGHT TO MAKE THEIR LIVES LESS MISERABLE THROUGH HONEST WORK.

  18. he people who masterminded WWII for Germany was the executives at
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