Friday, June 05, 2015

pan-troglodytic deuterostems cannot attain organic competence against ancient, evil, cephalopod molluscs...,

philly |  When a self-described cabal repeatedly engages in what the attorney general calls "brazenly illegal behavior" and pleads guilty to criminal acts, it is reasonable to expect its members will get some jail time. But not in the paradoxical world ruled by mega banks and paralyzed by fears that being too harsh with banks deemed too big to fail might implode the economy.

Consequently, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Citigroup, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, which recently pleaded guilty to conspiring to manipulate international currency markets, will collectively pay only $5.7 billion in state, federal and foreign fines for a scam that ran six years and netted them $85 billion. A fifth bank, UBS, cooperated with investigators and pleaded guilty to a charge in a separate investigation.

Currency manipulation inflates the cost of imported consumer goods ranging from phones to clothing. That means Americans who purchased these items have already paid for the banks' crimes. But they will pay even more. The banks will likely charge higher service fees to recover the cost of their fines.

That's not justice. Some people busted for small amounts of marijuana face jail time. Was no one in the executive suites aware of the banks' criminal acts? These sweetheart plea deals are hardly a deterrent to future misdeeds. Before the deals were even struck, the banks extracted assurances from banking regulators that their businesses would in no way be inconvenienced by the guilty pleas.