Tuesday, 22 September 2009

FINANCIAL FELONS FORTUITOUSLY FREE?



Picture from here


I empathise with the sentiments of this story.  I don't see why those involved at every level of the economic and financial events that left people homeless; deprived people of jobs; and interfered with economies the world over should not end up behind bars or facing huge, bankrupting penalties.  Leaving them in situ to return to a lifestyle of huge bonuses is not only wrong and immoral.  It is nationally and internationally reckless.  


However, I do think that, in the United States, people see economic and financial felons in handcuffs more often than we in Australia do.  Have a think, Aussies.  How many can you name who have been major corporate offenders and have done jail time?  Much as I might question the honesty and veracity of Alan Bond, much as I might believe the rumours that he salted a fortune away outside the country - at least he stayed and did time.  More than can be said for Christoper Skase.  We have also had the satisfaction of seeing Ray Williams and Rodney Adler of HIH infamy settle down to the restricted life of prison.   Now some others could have slipped my memory - so I would be pleased, dear Networkers, if you could add to the list.  


You see, the longer the list the more I would think our corporate compliance laws were adequate and that ASIC was up to and is doing the job.  The shorter the list is an indication that we have a long way to go before making our laws actually reflect the damage done to lives and reputations by these highway robbers.  Well, in fact, some of the highway robbers were gentlemen and women by comparison!

Storm Financial principals, Julie and Emmanuel Cassimatis
The latest financial theft appears to have been the machinations of Storm Financial based in Townsville.  Here I must declare an interest.  I have a relative who has lost a substantial sum with SF.  However, were Cassimatis and spouse (spouse No. 2) to be found guilty in a court of law and sent to prison - would others go from, say, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia or Macquarie?  Or would there be the scapegoating process that one perceives as operating from time to time where those believed to be less significant to the powerful are thrown to the wolves and those with Friends at Court, Parliament, and exclusive Golf Clubs get away all together or with minimal impact.  Miss Eagle watches with interest (declared)!

Further Reading:
Reform or Bust by Paul Krugman
MissEagle
racism-free
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