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Gangsters of NYC: Real Housewives of Wall Street and Welfare for the Richest

This is tip of the iceberg stuff that might be defended by some as just the sort of thing that happens incidentally when one manages a large program under duress. So sorry. Nothing to see here, so move along. That is like the defense being offered in the Raj Rajaratnam insider trading trial today that the defendant, Mr. Rajaratnam, is SO smart that he really didn't need all that insider information that people like Rajat Gupta had been giving him. I doubt they will get an acquittal giving all the tape recordings that they have, but they seem to be playing for a settlement, a wristslap and a fine and disgorgement of profits. That is the traditional outcome when some medium sized macher falls into the occasional government investigation of financial corruption. The point of showing this here is to highlight the need for financial reform, transparency in government and especially at the Fed which handles huge sums of money and disburses them without effective oversight. What is especially repugnant is not so much the epidemic of graft and corruption that has crippled the country and infested the regulators and the government. What is especially repugnant is the well financed campaign to go after the victims, the taxpayers and defrauded investors, and to force them to bear the brunt of the pain caused by that graft and corruption, by playing on the meanest and lowest impulses in the people. And this after providing even more tax cuts and subsidies so these looters and white collar criminals could keep even more of their ill gotten gains. Now that takes some arrogant nerve, and some certainty in the service of your bought and paid for servants in the government, and the stupidity of the average person. Iceland's voters have had the courage to say 'no.' It remains to be be seen what Ireland will do. But one has to wonder how far this all goes, and why there was such a knee jerk impulse in so many places to bail out the banks and the insiders, and take the broader public to its knees through a calculated campaign of 'austerity' that plays on the impulse to make someone pay, preferably someone who is weak, and unable to effectively fight back, some outsider or scapegoat, some other. And why do these disclosures keep showing up on the blogosphere and in relatively marginal publications while the mainstream media maintains its silence? I have been waiting for this story to surface, but I did not expect it to come from the sportswriter at Rolling Stone.

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