Brain Dropping # 23

BD # 23

I have always been against capital punishment.  I believe it is a barbaric manifestation of primal bloodlust emerging from the reptilian brain.  Since human beings are eminently fallible it inevitably leads to the killing of innocent people.  In contrast, I’m not a pacifist.  I would take up arms against someone who is a threat to my life, those whom I love, or victims of brutal tyranny.

But inspired by my mentor, the late comic/philosopher George Carlin, I’ve begun to consider when it would be appropriate for the state to execute a member of a criminal cabal.  George believed that the way to stop international drug trafficking in it’s tracks would be to execute the bankers who launder the money.   For instance, HSBC headquartered in London and New York, one of the world’s largest corporate banks was caught red-handed laundering 800 million dollars for a Latin American drug cartel.  They went so far as to provide the drug couriers  special metal boxes which could easily slide through the cashier’s slot.  No, I’m not making this up.  HSBC’s punishment – a fine, which to the man-in-the-street seemed substantial, but was chump-change for the bank.  Imagine the chilling effect on these pin-striped banksters if even just one of them, proven guilty in a court of law, would be executed.

Perhaps you are as angry and frustrated as I am by the impotency of Obama’s  Attorney General No-Balls-At-All-Holder?  This man, the highest law officer in the land, has publicly stated that the big banks – Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Case, Citi Bank, Bank of America are too big to jail.  And they’ve gotten 37% bigger since the sub-prime mortgage debacle. They are still committing their banditry as I write. The U.S. Federal authorities just brought a case against BPN Paribas, France’s biggest bank, for transferring billions of dollars on behalf of Sudan and other countries blacklisted by the U.S.  In a startling exception, the Feds insisted that BNP executives admit their guilt as well as pay a fine.  In the past Holder’s minions would allow the banks to just pay a fine without an admission of guilt.

Time and time again someone like Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan would appear before a congressional panel for one form of illegal financial transaction or another, get a slap on the wrist, and then have his CEO salary increased by fifty percent for bamboozling us all.  If ever there was a candidate for the ultimate punishment it would be Mr. Dimon.  Then maybe, just maybe this would be an incentive for  honesty among bankers.

Al Salzman


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