CBS aired a spectacular interview with Anton Valukas, the investigator appointed by the federal bankruptcy court to determine what caused the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. Two years ago he submitted a 2,200 page report stating that there was enough evidence for a prosecutor to bring a case against top Lehman officials and the Ernst & Young accounting firm for misleading government regulators and investors. So, with this evidence why haven’t there been any prosecutions? Unbelievably, the SEC and the Federal Reserve may have compromised such prosecutions by their own participation in the cover-up.
Allow me to summarize a few anecdotal observations that might be relevant right about now:
- 2004 election cycle, Lehman Brothers invested $2,338,036 in campaign contributions and in 2008, $2,188,126
- Lehman Brothers lobbying investment peaked at $920,000 in the year 2006
- Revolving door of personnel from SEC and Federal Reserve to Lehman Brothers and vice versa. As an example, we can follow the career of Kim Wallace:
- 1986-1989 Sr. Analyst on the Senate Budget Committee
- 1989-1994 Legislative Aide to Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell
- 1994-2008 Chief Political Analyst at Lehman Brothers
- 2008 election cycle, Ernst & Young invested $2,272,781 in campaign contributions
- Lobbying investment by Ernst & Young consistently between $2Million and $2.5Million a year
- Number of documented revolving door employees at 48
Our federal government and its agencies are so dependent upon the corporations they are supposed to be regulating as to render them powerless. Rules and the enforcement of them provide the structure for society. The rules in our society have been manipulated and distorted to benefit the few at the expense of many. If nothing else, this financial crisis did shine a spotlight on the degradation of our society from that of justice and liberty for all to a society of the politically-connected and economically-elite to whom justice does not apply. Although our society has been hijacked by these few, we do still have individual rights and with those we have historically-important responsibilities. We can choose to allow this to go down in history as a failed experiment in human society and continue following our corrupt authority off the cliff or we can choose to improve upon the experiment by making the necessary structural adjustments to our political system.
Let The Lynching Begin!