Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 11:25 AM
A federal judge in New York City just sentenced Raj Rajaratnam to 11 years in prison, a $10 million fine, and forfeiture of $53 million in assets.
Much is being made of the fact that this sentence is the harshest ever imposed for the insider trading that was/is customary practice on Wall Street. Word on the street is that he won’t even be able to serve his time in a club fed like most white-collar criminals, but will have to do hard time in regular penitentiary.
But am I the only one who wonders why prosecutors labeled this Sri-Lankan American – who looks blacker than any African American I know – as literally “the face” for all of the white-collar crooks on Wall Street whose shenanigans caused the global financial crisis of 2008?
Things that make you go hmmmm, or in more contemporary parlance, WTF!
Meanwhile, everybody knows that rank criminality and dishonesty among (predominantly white) casino croupiers masquerading as investment bankers – much of it having to do with misrepresenting their exposure to sub-prime mortgages – caused this crisis. And the whole world is still reeling from, and paying for, it.
Yet not a single banker has been arrested. By riot-provoking contrast, hundreds from the Occupy Wall Street protests have been thrown in the pokey.
Talk about the need for a (greenback) revolution. And by that I have in mind only what (then candidate) Obama had in mind when he uttered these progressive and prophetic/cautionary words on the campaign trail in 2008:
I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.
(ABC News, October 14, 2008)
So let’s spread the wealth around! This is unifying and galvanizing demand the Wall Street protesters should be making of (now president) Obama.
NOTE: Bernie Madoff had nothing to do with the banking crisis. His, like Rajaratnam’s, was a different kind of Wall Street scheme.