Bill Singer's searing critique of the the implications of Peter Madoff's guilty plea is sure to unsettle many Wall Street apologists. Frankly, he doesn't care. That's Bill's goal -- to be provocative and force folks to re-examine, think, and question. Consider his comments in "Speed Reading U.S. v. Peter Madoff And War And Peace" ("Street Sweeper" June 30, 2012)":
Bill offers his readers -- both industry professionals and public investors -- a rare opportunity to go behind the brief headlines and soundbites and read, first hand, the full-text of the criminal Information to which Peter Madoff pleaded guilty. It's a rare chance to read the blow by blow rather than something filtered and spun by those with agendas.[I]f I take a gun and stick it in your ribs and demand your wallet, there's not much doubt that an armed robbery went down. If I steal your life's savings through the use of exotic financial instruments, well, you know, that's not armed robbery -- nah, that's a misunderstanding or a miscommunication or you could call it fraud, if you must, but it's not really like getting held up in a darkened alley. You see the difference, right?
Truly, we have to stop that crap. We need to stop the euphemisms.
Many bank holding companies and brokerage firms often act more like racketeering influenced corrupt organizations than legitimate businesses. Threats and coercion are not simply the tools of the Russian Mob. Read some of the Department of Justice's recent allegations against supposedly respected financial organizations and it's hard not to wince at the charges of collusion, threats, lies, and deceit.
Sure, loan sharking is nasty and folks get their bones broken; but how much different is it when homeowners find their lives evicted onto the front lawn because of illegal mortgage lending practices? Read about the alleged rigging of the LIBOR rates or municipal bond offerings and tell me how it's not really an old-fashioned shakedown.
There are times when Citigroup, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America look and act like the legitimate businesses that they should be. However, there are also times when those too-big-to-fail seem to conduct themselves as if they are above the law -- as if they get to make up the rules as they go along. Of course, what good crime story doesn't have a paid snitch and what modern-day Wall Street lawmaking doesn't involve Senators and Representatives with their hands out? . . .