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Ear to the Ground

Wall Street CEOs Off the Hook

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Posted on Feb 27, 2011
AP / Susan Walsh

Angelo Mozilo, co-founder and former CEO of Countrywide Financial Corp., testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Capitol Hill in March 2008.

Most of those Wall Street executives whose firms took ridiculous risks and brought the global financial system to its knees are far from a jail cell, or even from being prosecuted by the Justice Department. —JCL

The New York Times:

So much for Angelo Mozilo taking the fall for the financial crisis.

Late last week, word leaked out that Mr. Mozilo, who had co-founded Countrywide Financial in 1969—and, for nearly 40 years, presided over its astonishing rise and its equally astonishing fall—would not be prosecuted by the Justice Department. Not for insider trading. Not for failing to disclose to investors his private worries about subprime loans. Not for helping to create a culture at Countrywide in which mortgage originators were rewarded for pushing fraudulent loans on borrowers.

In its article about the Justice Department’s decision, The Los Angeles Times said prosecutors had concluded that Mr. Mozilo’s actions “did not amount to criminal wrongdoing.”

Just months earlier, the Justice Department concluded that Joe Cassano shouldn’t take the fall for the financial crisis either. Mr. Cassano, you’ll recall, is the former head of the financial products unit of the American International Group, a man whose enthusiasm for credit-default swaps led, pretty directly, to the need for a huge government bailout of A.I.G. There was a time when it appeared that there was no way the government would let Mr. Cassano walk. But it did.

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, March 1, 2011 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment

Here here, thanks for the clarity… what amazes me is how these defunct souls really think they will get away with this!!!!

Even if justice doesn’t come from the top down, it will come from the bottom up… and that will be worse for them.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, March 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

Napolean
“Isn’t our current temperature of government more reminiscent of what was feared early last century from Germany and U.S.S.R.? “

Only in the sense that it is corporate totalitarianism instead of communist totalitarianism.

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, March 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Isn’t the term ‘administration’ a throwback to soviet Russia?

Isn’t our current temperature of government more reminiscent of what was feared early last century from Germany and U.S.S.R.?

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By rollzone, February 28, 2011 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

hello again. this thread is delving into criminal
worship in America. in the good old days, you had to
bust a few noses, break a few bones, burn out a few
competitors, break a few laws, kill a few people- to
get to the top. once at the top, you could then top
dollar lieyer yourself above the law. of course it is
not like that today (pause for laughing). it is not
beneath me to murder these scoundrels, but the
challenge is to find a better way to deal with them.
having a court determine they do not play well with
others and confiscating all their assets, will open
peoples eyes to whom they are dealing with, and
return a notion that crime does not pay. that is what
has been hit upon here: that culture is mislead to
believe crime pays. something is internally wrong
when top authorities are perpetrating a message that
crime pays. crime is good business until you compete
with government. then government has to give you a
job. i do not believe the influence of money should
be allowed in politics. it puts criminals in charge.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, February 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Clinton faced possible impeachment because of a momentary sexual indiscretion, which harmed nobody except perhaps his wife and family. CEOs of powerful financial institutions who can damage a global economy are exhonorated. What a screwed up sense of values these administrations have! One might almost say they were criminally complicit. This should urge a public outcry - a storming of the DOJ Bastille.
Department of Injustice be damned.

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By laceration, February 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

This article pulls its punches and finds rationale for this injustice.  Also telling, comments not available for this article at NYT.  NYT is too chickenshit to expose their whitewash to the load of rage that is out there.  Well at least we’ve got Matt Taibbi at http://www.rollingstone.com providing some honest journalism on this subject.

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By Richard_Ralph_Roehl, February 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

gerard:

Stop thinkin’ sheep! Stop being ewe in lieu of you!

Wake up, gerard! Ewe don’t pet a rabid dog. YOU f*@kin’ shoot it! This is what needs to be done to Amerika’s rabid ruling class… starting with the bankster gambler addicts in the Wall $treet casino.

And let me also point out… ewe have no balls, gerard. Ewe don’t even capitalize the first letter of your name. That says quite a lot about how ewe think! One of the gutless sheep!

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By M L, February 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Are these prosecutors hold overs from the Bush Administration allowing criminals sovereign immunity?
We need names.

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, February 28, 2011 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Mozilo’s face in this picture looks like it has been catching the punches of the millions he helped rip off… or it will be soon.

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By gerard, February 28, 2011 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

Apparently RRR (previous post) stands for Rabid Radical Rhetoric. Don’t drink the KoolAid.

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, February 28, 2011 at 2:48 am Link to this comment

Ya know, I was just thinkin’.....

Some exasperated, out of his mind ex-home mortgage note owner who was shafted by this high crime, who also likely lost his job… may consider offing one or several of these ‘too rich to convict’ s.o.b’s.

Or maybe we’ll see quite a few.

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By Richard_Ralph_Roehl, February 28, 2011 at 2:45 am Link to this comment

“Most of those Wall Street executives whose firms took ridiculous risks and brought the global financial system to its knees are far from a jail cell, or even from being prosecuted by the Justice Department.” —JCL

Okay… ah… er… what about a firing squad?

The $tatus quo must end! Indeed! NO LAWS OR UNJUST LAWS… JUST CREATES OUTLAWS. And if there is no law or institution capable of bringing these Wall $treet $ociopaths to justice, and thereby discouraging future $ociopaths, then we the people should ‘espark’ a revolution that will include impromptu assassinations against these ruling class bastards (and their families).

Yesss… my rhetoric is red hot, and this does NOT bode well for the nation. It portends a violent revolution.

Listen up you sheep! Quit buying the officiall-dumb about 9-11. Quit buying the lone gunman lies. $top guzzling corn-syrup. Stop supporting the bread and circus narcotic of pro-$ports multi-multi-millionaire/billionaires.

Come on chumps! Wake up! ONE PERCENT of the population in capitalist/fascist Amerika owns almost 90% of all the aggregate wealth of this war mongering, KKKristian/Zionist nation $tate. This terrible injustice is a recipe for chaos, anarchy, bedlam… and a full blown revolution of Joe Stack suicide bombers and Timothy McVeigh franchises operating guerrilla cells across the hinterlands.

Yesss… Old Coyote Knose! Old Coyote Knose… it’s easier to burn down a mansion than it is to build one! And the Knose also knows… that ASS-ASS-IN-NATION is a politician’s ultimate achievement.

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By gerard, February 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

Postscript:  If you want to see a sad sack, look deep into this empty face of Mr. Mozilo and be glad you aren’t him.

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By gerard, February 27, 2011 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

TDoff:  Sure, Tao could be right. As to whether that’s “His”  plan (whoever “He” is), I doubt it. There are a good number of beings probably scattered around all over the universe.  Something did (or caused or invented or chose or moved) something to create something—and so it goes.  Thus, too, with people, probably.  Some move to create this or that which, one way or another, falls apart.  I try to work against deliberate destruction whether of Nature or of man’s “special effects”—because I hate to see the pain suffered as a consequence. But in the larger sense, who am I to say?  It’s just my (motherly) feeling that “good” people are better that “bad” people, “good”  ideas are better than “bad” ideas, etc.  But again, nothing is written in stone that I know of.  Spirit is all, for want of a better way to say it. Spirit moves upon the waters of sky and ocean. Spirit moves over the mountains and in the throats of birds.  Spirit writes love letters and rants and poems and emancipation proclamations. Spirit rises in rebellion against injustice.  Spirit spits in the wind.  Selah!

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

Wall Street CEOs Off the Hook.

With who?  Not the potential jurors.

Angelo Mozilo looks the part of the head of a crime family.

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By TAO Walker, February 27, 2011 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

There’s no question of the sincere concern “gerard” feels for her fellah ‘n’ gal domesticates demonstrating in Egypt, Wisconsin, and elsewhere.  Maybe (as she apparently hopes) there will emerge from their presently mainly “self”-interested pursuit of some relief from all the institutionalized oppression inflicted on them by the “self”-chosen few among their own ‘kind,’ a heightened sense of its ultimately fatal futility….unless-and-until they accord to us surviving free wild components of our Living Arrangement, Human and ‘other’-wise, at-least as much respect and “value” as they’ve for so long arrogated unto only their own ‘kind.’

Just that much would take a lot of pressure off our Living Arrangement, but to truly heal the immense damage done us all, over the course of the “Civilization” disease’s process here, we sure would appreciate some help from those who’ve been so instrumental in its depredations.  Anyway, there is simply no viable place in Her Living Arrangement for Two-leggeds who’re not Natural Persons ORGANized as genuine Communities having the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity necessary to the adequate fulfillment of our Function as vital components in Her Living Arrangement.

Contrary to what “gerard” implies below, however, that isn’t just this Old Indian’s “path”.  It is what the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself has for Human Beings to BE and DO here.  It doesn’t matter “who” or what she or anybody else might be when they’re “at-home,” wherever that might be.  When they’re here, and wearing the Human “birthday-suit,” they’ll follow The Tiyoshpaye Way….or be ‘excused.’

If that’s not “acceptable”....well, there must be fifty ways to leave our Mother.

HokaHey!

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By rollzone, February 27, 2011 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

hello. oil barons own Wall Street. Wall Street owns
seemingly every branch of government except the
judiciary. they plan to usurp that. the oil barons
bid through GoldenSacks on oil and natural gas
reserves around the world, and use the United States
military to enforce their interests, first covertly,
and then with illegal invasion where necessary. it is
not capitalism and free market at fault- it is
petrodollars. Russia and China struck the last big
deal. they will probably war when Russia demands more
petrodollars for the same barrel in the same pipe.
meanwhile, it bailed out our economic interests
abroad, by keeping BP in the black, and awakened
inflationary illegal price speculations: to bring the
price of oil high enough per barrel to show
continuing return for investors working to exploit
American reserves. oil running our capitalism by
every illegal act necessary, for the interest of
stockholders: is the last gasp of a nation restrained
from renewable, clean, non cancer causing,
environmentally sustainable green energies. believe
all the ancient propaganda, about needing to run
internal combustion cancer-causing engines with
gasoline, instead of using electric engines: and you
buy into the vertical scheme: to help them gouge you
while they still have a dominant market share. oil
and natural gas barons manipulate global economies,
with agreeable planted figureheads; and they shut
down green technologies here in America. the rest of
the world is incrementally moving forward, but their
grip over our capitalism, here at home, can end
overnight; with a leader willing to give his life for
the change. too bad on that point. they control and
illegally manipulate the economy, and have eliminated
free market capitalism at home. that does not mean
capitalism is wrong. oil should be prehistoric energy
by now. we could move hydrogen in the pipeline
infrastructure, and look at the developments in cold
fusion. solar energies, including hydroelectric, and
last and should be least fission nuclear reactors:
could within one year -eliminate all the need for
gasoline. that is no more big rape on our natural
environment, and inside our cells with cancer from
unburnt hydrocarbon exhausts. peoples with power
determine the return on investment over all other
harm to we the consumer, the planet, and our future.
of course Wall Street is off the hook. they are the
oil speculators, being used to drive home new
currency petrodollars, in America’s best interest- at
the next stockholder meeting. if they can just get
Americans to pay enough so they will not lose any of
their investments… have another glass of oil, Wall
Street.

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By berniem, February 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

“Look forward’ not back”! Gee, if Bernie wou;ld have just stayed with screwing the average sucker instead of those well-heeled folks he wouldn’t be in jail either! Obama, you’re a disgrace! FREE BRADLEY MANNING!!!!!

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By TDoff, February 27, 2011 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker looks upon our species as one that has been given a wondrous world to abide upon, but had the arrogance to believe they could improve upon it, by digging into it to exploit it’s hidden wonders. And, as they found they could make a profit on what they dug, they kept digging faster and faster and making more and more of themselves so they could dig even faster and faster absolutely everywhere.

So that finally, today, much as might be seen in a Roadrunner cartoon, humanity has dug away the earth beneath it until it clings, precariously, to the last peak of the earth as it once was, shoveling madly at the crumbling soil beneath them, not thinking that as they strike that last shovel into the soil, and the last peak of earth collapses beneath them, they will fall into the vast void of the almighty cosmos, never to be seen again.

Could TAO be right?

And could this have been ‘His’ master plan? To permit and arrange humanity’s complete and final destruction so that it can never despoil another bit of this magnificent universe?

HOKAHEYHEYHEY!

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By TDoff, February 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

Why do we keep referring to the Wall Street CEO’s and their firms as having taken ‘Ridiculous Risks’ that dumped the US and world economies down the toilet? They took no risks at all. They are scamsters and fraudsters and conmen and thieves, and they knew that since they appointed and controlled their ‘regulators’ (who were, after all, their peers, and former and future employees), as well as the politicians who were supposed to ‘oversee’ them, there was no ‘risk’, they were free to plunder as they pleased. As the current lack of prosecution has proven.

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By Rodney, February 27, 2011 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We have the best system that money can bribe!

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By gerard, February 27, 2011 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

Tao:  Don’t you feel anything at all moving in Egypt?
In other Arab lands revolting against domination and injustice?  Don’t you think, hope for, and want to encourage any hope for the masses of people awakening to their abilities to create a better world—or better worlds, better understandings, fairer economic and social systems necessarily more protective and respectful of the natural world?
I can support your advice for small more nature-based communities. I just think there is more than one way, and ordinary people with a sense of human mercy and justice are trying to move toward the future in large numbers even without knowing for sure what they can achieve? Don’t you feel any path opening ahead except yours?

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By Jim Michie, February 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well of course these galactic thieves are off the hook!  How else could they pay for Barack Obama’s $$$BILLION-dollar reelection campaign.  You can be sure that President Obama is not about to allow any of these arch-criminals to land in a courtroom, much less in jail!

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By TAO Walker, February 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

Meaning no disrespect whatsoever, and in no way suggesting that “gerard” herself advocates consciously for the damned thing, but the all-out WAR the sub-species homo domesticus is and has for ten-plus thousand years been waging violently upon the Natural Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth has got to be the absolute motherfucker of all delusions.  Frankly, my dear Sisters and Brothers, the one attributed here to such as Angelo Mozilo, and others of his ilk, are penny-ante kid-stuff by comparison….as is, in-fact, the entire “global” false-eCONomy and all the command-and-CONtrol apparatus enforcing its institutionalized idiocy. 

Didn’t somebody besides this Old Savage caution people one time about not condemning ‘others’ for the sawdust in their eyes, while ignoring (delusionally?) the cord-wood in one’s own?

HokaHey!

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By gerard, February 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

The very last words in this report are the clincher worth remembering and thinking about:
  “Delusion is an iro-clad defense.”

The United States (and hence the world) continues to suffer year after year because this country, and by bribery and intimidation the world, continues to try to survive on the delusions of capitalism:  That the market “knows” best, that there is such a thing as a fair “free market”, that it is okay to steal money and resources from people who have less in order that you get more for yourself, that the “profit system” is a system rather than a casino, that capitaism “floats all boats” and “trickles down.”
The entire ball of wax is a scam, and in order to keep it going, everybody involved, whether “winning” or “losing” has to voluntarily choose not to see the truth.
  If several million of its participants, beneficiaries and proponents opened their eyes for five minutes, the entire edifice would crumble—as it very nearly did some months past.  Who will be the hero or heroes to propose,promote, and adopt a fairer, cleaner system?  If they are not extradited, excommunicated or assassinated they will win the Nobel for sure.

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By bluesman, February 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

How some of these guys aren’t doing time is beyond me.
They directly caused the problems we are seeing in states like Wisconsin and others, by peddling their “garbage” mortgage securities, and yet no one does time.
Like it was stated recently, the only reason Bernie Madoff went to the “Crowbar Motel” was because he hosed rich people out of their cash.

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