October 29, 2011


I spoke to a friend in LA yesterday is who is a not very politically active gay who works in television. So while I wouldn't expect him to be up to date on issues, I was truly shocked when he mentioned the Occupy Wall Street movement in NYC and said that it sounded frightening. Frightening?" I said. "I think it's great that we are waking up to what's really going on and finding our voices and taking it to the streets." "But aren't you in any danger?", he asked. "Why would I be? I'm not a banker who rips people off." (I'm a performer who rips people off.) I was kinda shocked to hear someone fairly young and with it buy into reports that the Occupy Wall Street protesters are scary anarchists. They're everyday people who are sick of a system which is set up to rip them off. Here's an article from Rolling Stone by the great Matt Taibbi.

Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? by Matt Taibbi

Financial crooks brought down the world's economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them

Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world's wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.

The rest of them, all of them, got off. Not a single executive who ran the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom — an industrywide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities — has ever been convicted. Their names by now are familiar to even the most casual Middle American news consumer: companies like AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. Most of these firms were directly involved in elaborate fraud and theft. Lehman Brothers hid billions in loans from its investors. Bank of America lied about billions in bonuses. Goldman Sachs failed to tell clients how it put together the born-to-lose toxic mortgage deals it was selling. What's more, many of these companies had corporate chieftains whose actions cost investors billions — from AIG derivatives chief Joe Cassano, who assured investors they would not lose even "one dollar" just months before his unit imploded, to the $263 million in compensation that former Lehman chief Dick "The Gorilla" Fuld conveniently failed to disclose. Yet not one of them has faced time behind bars.