Friday, October 31, 2008

Financial Fraud

The Times has a long piece today about the insurance company AIG, and what it has done with the billions of dollars "lent" to it by the Government to prevent it from going bust. The story is not easy to understand - but it is clear that numerous executives at the company were, or should have been, aware of the fact that the company was lying to everyone.

These same executives were carting off tens, if not hundreds of millions in bonuses as compensation for their fraudulent (or just incompetent) business activities.

I knew one of the top AIG dogs when I worked in financial services 20 years ago and could have told you then that he was a master at creating financial schemes that no one could understand. His true talent though, was in making top executive believe his accounting - that not only was he earning them tons of money, but what he was doing was perfectly safe.

These bastards have taken over $100 billion from the U.S. Government to bail out their disaster. So I ask myself the reasonable question: why the fuck haven't they been arrested and why aren't they looking at 20 years in prison?

What is it about this country that you go to Jackson for five years for selling a rock of Crack but can steal billions and nothing happens.

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