Patrick Meighan is a husband, a father, and a “Family Guy” sitcom writer who was among the 292 people arrested when the cops raided the Occupy Los Angeles encampment early on Nov. 30. As his powerful testimony makes clear, that was actually not “the LAPD’s finest hour,” as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa proclaimed later that day.
Meighan’s story of spending two abusive days in police custody despite having money for bail is bad enough, but that’s not his main point. Rather, he contrasts the treatment he and other peaceful protesters received at the hands of law enforcement officers with certain perpetrators of hugely destructive financial crimes who walk free—with huge bonuses to boot. “Now let’s talk about a man who was not arrested last Wednesday,” Meighan writes. “He is former Citigroup CEO Charles Prince.”
Thus begins a scathing indictment of Prince and his fellow fraudsters on Wall Street in this must-read piece. Click the link after the excerpt below to get the full blast. —KA
My Occupy L.A. Arrest, by Patrick Meighan:
Citigroup spent years intentionally buying up every bad mortgage loan it could find, creating bad securities out of those bad loans and then selling shares in those bad securities to duped investors. And then they sometimes secretly bet *against* their *own* bad securities to make even more money. For one such bad Citigroup security, Citigroup executives were internally calling it, quote, “a collection of dogshit”. To investors, however, they called it, quote, “an attractive investment rigorously selected by an independent investment adviser”.
This is fraud, and it’s a felony, and the Charles Princes of the world spent several years doing it again and again: knowingly writing bad mortgages, and then packaging them into fraudulent securities which they then sold to suckers and then repeating the process. This is a big part of why your property values went up so fast. But then the bubble burst, and that’s why our economy is now shattered for a generation, and it’s also why your home is now underwater. Or at least mine is.
Anyway, if your retirement fund lost a decade’s-worth of gains overnight, this is why.
If your son’s middle school has added furlough days because the school district can’t afford to keep its doors open for a full school year, this is why.
If your daughter has come out of college with a degree only to discover that there are no jobs for her, this is why.
AP / Lucy Nicholson
A Los Angeles police officer points his weapon at protesters in a tree as officers dismantle the Occupy L.A. encampment outside City Hall last month.