MATT TAIBBI ~ THE DIVIDE

~ TCOTCITCDS-OASAOHU-TOAVGOEWOTR-HBITWALT ~ The Cleaving Of The Country Into Two Completely Different States – One A Small Archipelago Of Hyperacquisitive Untouchables – The Other A Vast Ghetto Of Expendables With Only Theoretical Rights – Has Been In The Works A Long Time

~ DWCCITNCWRANSOPART-I-CWGISBTORP ~ Dealing With Corporate Crime In The New Century Would Require A New Set Of Persecutorial And Regulatory Tools – Increasingly – Companies Were Growing, In Size, Beyond The Old Regulatory Parameters

~ ATBWSCSTWTOCSAAWFCIOECIAI-IWOTTNLEOHUSKORT-CAHCWBC-ANWGA-THTBAPH-TPEUB-CC~ As The Biggest Wall Street Companies Screamed Their Way Through One Criminal Scandal After Another Without Facing Corporate Indictments Or Even Criminal Indictments Against Individuals – It Was Obvious That The Nation’s Law Enforcement Officials Had Undergone Some Kind Of Radical Transformation – Crime After Heinous Crime Was Being Committed – And Nobody Was Getting Arrested – There Had To Be A Plan Here – That Plan Ended Up Being – Collateral Consequences

~ BTSFTUTBCUWACTDWWBETCJM-TWSMACAWWSEAUENTQ ~ But They Somehow Failed To Understand That By Coming Up With A Calculus To Determine Who Was Big Enough And Important Enough To Command Jurisprudential Mercy – They Were Simultaneously Making A Calculation About Who Was Small Enough And Unimportant Enough Not To Qualify

~ TFOPBTPDAECW-AMCFS-IWBMPERLQSM-A-STOTISIAHRAAAB ~ This Failure Of Prosecuturial Backbone Took Place During An Epic Crime Wave – A Massive Criminal Fraud Scheme – In Which Banks Mass-Produced Extremely Risky, Low-Quality Subprime Mortgages – And – Sold Them Off To Institutional Sucker-Investors As Highly Rated AAA Bonds

~ TSWTSLAHPKRATTNPOHBCKTHAW-BTITABTD-TREDBOPREVIHT-AD-E ~ The Situation Was Tenable So Long As Housing Prices Kept Rising And These Teeming New Populations Of Home Borrowers Could Keep Their Heads Above Water – But The Instant The Arrow Began Tilting Downward – This Rapidly Expanding Death-Balloon Of Phony Real Estate Value Inevitably Had To – And Did – Explode

~ OTBB-WBE-NEMFCIAHCTPITEF-TWTVDOSC ~ Once The Bubble Burst – Whistle-Blowers Emerged – Nearly Every Major Financial Company In America Had Chosen To Participate In This Enormous Fraud – It Was The Very Definition Of Systemic Corruption

~ DWLLMOE-ANWACTTCWETWCP-WWLMSOW-BTOFISP-AICTLROTNFPTPTSOSFOTRFNO ~ Despite What Looked Like Mountains Of Evidence – Almost Nobody With Any Connection To The Crisis Was Even Threatened With Criminal Prosecution – We Were Letting Major Systemic Offenders Walk – Bypassing The Opportunity For Important Symbolic Prosecutions – And Instead Committing The Limited Resources Of The Nation’s Financial Police To Putting The Smallest Of Small Fry On The Rack For Negligible Offenses

~ TAO-CC-SDRTWSAR-TWAAGSSOTEPIAANC ~ The Architects Of – Collateral Consequences – Seemingly Didn’t Realize They Were Starting A Revolution – They Were Accelerating A Government-Sponsored Sorting Of The Entire Population Into Arrestable And Nonarrestable Classes

~ TBAT-LBODFDC-WMFTCO-ARS-TMMFBTTOB-LRMWMOAGS-HTCAOC-TOPWAS-ABF~ The Bank Admitted To – Laundering Billions Of Dollars For Drug Cartels – Washing Money For Terrorist-Connected Organizations – Allowing Rogue States – To Move Money Freely By The The Tens Of Billions – Letting Russian Mobsters Wash Money On A Grand Scale – Helping Tax Cheats And Other Crooks – The Only Penalty Was A Settlement – A Big Fine

~ PTBFSE-WTTRGIR-T-LIBOR-CFNEPITWWHMOBOSA ~ Probably The Biggest Financial Scandal Ever – Working Together To Rig Global Interest Rates – Through – London Interbank Offered Rate – Consequences For Nearly Every Person In The World Who Has Money Or Buys Or Sells Anything – A $1.5 Billion Fine

~ TLISTBAUEAB-T-SC ~ The Law Isn’t Supposed To Be About Unspoken Excuses And Behind-The-Scenes Calculations

~ TUPDL-‘U’&’I’-DRA-IML-ABIM ~ The Usual Political Descriptors Like – “Unfairness” And “Injustice” – Don’t Really Apply – It’s More Like A Breakdown Into Madness

~ ‘OPT’-AFSOTS-LMWP-IHNIYCBAFSAT ~ “Obstructing Pedestrian Traffic” – Arrested For Standing On The Sidewalk – Like Most White People – I Had No Idea You Could Be Arrested For Such A Thing

~ UTACDTD-ITW-TPCAYFJAA ~ Ultimately This All Comes Down To Discretion – If They Want – The Police Can Arrest You For Just About Anything

~ TGBRYNHO ~ The Greatest Bank Robbery You Never Heard Of

~ IWTPTFCC-SBISTIWPITTNE ~ It Was The Perfect Twenty-First-Century Crime – So Broad In Scale That It Was Practically Invisible To The Naked Eye

~ F-HBOTWOTD-T-STTABB-BODWQM-OOTRO-C ~ First – Hefty Bonuses On The Way Out The Door – Then – Sold Themselves To Another Big Bank – Billions Of Dollars Were Quietly Moved – Out Of The Reach Of – Creditors

~ TODWBGATPKGBABED ~ Trillions Of Dollars Were Being Gambled And The Pots Kept Getting Bigger And Bigger Every Day

~ TDTGAWSWOTW-WUITRAPC-TAIAPOBS-E-AFMOWSATUSG ~ The Deals The Government And Wall Street Worked Out That Weekend – Were Unprecedented In Their Reach And Political Consequence – Transforming America Into A Permanent Oligarchical Bailout State – Essentially – A Formal Merger Of Wall Street And The U.S. Government

~ EDOWSMI-SEB&R-BTOTTAOSAAITTDFNITCC ~ Every Day On Wall Street Money Is – Stolen, Embezzled, Burgled, And Robbed – But The Mechanism Of These Thefts Are Often So Arcane And Idiosyncratic That They Don’t Fit Neatly Into The Criminal Code

~ WKTPP-APTMU-ITCOTB-AMSCADAITICPEVM ~ What Keeps The Poor Poor – And Pushes The Money Upward – Is The Complexity Of The Bureaucracy – A Maze So Complex And Dispiriting And Irrational That It Can’t Possibly Even Be Mapped

~ ATFC-ALOLLTT-O&O-Y-BTH-B-NOTBTWC-NTSH-MA ~ About The Financial Crisis – A Legend Our Leaders Like To Tell – Over And Over – Yes – Bad Things Happened – But – None Of Those Bad Things Were Crimes – Nothing To See Here – Move Along

~ ITLIAUE-OALEPOT-ASP-LEBPI-WCOAB-IIMU-WHTBRCTTPN ~ If The Law Is Applied Unequally Enough – Over A Long Enough Period Of Time – At Some Point – Law Enforcement Becomes Politically Illegitimate – Whole Classes Of Arrests Become – Illegal, Improper, Morally Unenforceable – We Have To Be Really Close To That Point Now

~ TISJEETEHOMOEBODIP-B-SNQEETFAITDSMASDIJ ~ There Is Somehow Just Enough Evidence To Extract Hundreds Of Millions Or Even Billions Of Dollars In Penalties – But – Somehow Not Quite Enough Evidence To Force Any Individual To Do So Much As A Day In Jail

~ RPWGATBG-NM-HWP-IF-TBOTWTOAVEWWIALS ~ Real Police Will Go After The Bad Guy – No Matter – How Well Protected – In Fact – The Best Of Them Will Take On A Villain Even When Winning Is A Long Shot

~ TVEITALS-INATAABD-BIRE ~ There’s Value Even In Trying And Losing Sometimes – It’s Not As Tangible As A Billion Dollars But It’s Real Enough

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