FINANCIAL CRIMES TO MANKIND: TOO BIG FOR JAIL?
Today there are large-scale investigations into the manipulation of the price of gold. In Europe, the United States and Asia, an investigation is also underway into banks operating on an international level that are suspected of manipulating exchange rates on a large scale. The European Commission suspects some of the largest investment banks in the world of having made agreements to shield the market of credit default swaps from competitors. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. We simply have no idea what’s going on over our heads and how we are constantly being cheated into the big picture.
In fact, all proven cases of fraud involving financial products involve large-scale mafia practices that can safely be called crimes against humanity. No one has so far calculated what the collateral damage of this fraud is to states, businesses and consumers. Of course, classic crimes against humanity such as genocide are terrible and have nothing to compare to, but financial fraud is devastating to the economy. Large-scale financial scams and fraud threaten to damage and destroy the global economy. The day the banking system starts to malfunction, the shelves of the Carrefours, Delhaizes and Aldi’s threaten to remain empty. What rogue bankers do is totally irresponsible. And so you should cross the line and not only war criminals but also financial criminals.
The authorities should extend the powers of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. A department of international financial criminal law should be established. International criminal investigations should be carried out against top financial criminals who today remain out of the picture. The fines are not miniscule, but the guilty go free. Too big to fail are not the banks, the big files like Lehman in the US and Fortis and Dexia prove that, but apparently there are too big for jail. The Euribor fraud requires an international approach and an internationalization of criminal law. Because where are these plans forged? In Europe, London, Washington, Paris, the Bahamas? We don’t know. These are unprecedented internationally organised mafia practices. And their impact is extremely immense. Prosecuting and punishing top financial criminals and confiscating all criminal assets are, I think, the only ways to put a stop to these monstrous fraudulent practices, Only imposing fines on the banks is not enough. It is true that banks that were guilty of illegal banking practices share a lot of the blame, in the US some major banks were even sentenced to billions of fines, but the criminal masterminds that are the brains behind the malpractices escape punishment. And probably they will be thanked by their bank with a fat premium. Moreover, the expected fines may be calculated in advance. If, so to speak, a bank can pay out 100 billion euros, what would a fine of 10 billion euros in the worst case scenario be? Make my day! The fine is gladly taken into account. On top of that: if the fines really get too big, the fraudulent banks might go overboard, but then other banks are ready to take their place: argentaria argentaris lupus est. Only if the (physical) responsible parties are tackled themselves will new potential fraudsters be deterred. Eradicating fraud may be impossible, because fraud is in the nature of man, but restricting fraud must be possible. It is also difficult to understand why public opinion is so lenient when it comes to dealing with or looking at financial abuses. It seems as if we all don’t mind that much. And even the politicians don’t seem to see any flaws in it. With the severe global economic crisis since 2008 in mind, all that is even less understandable. It was indeed the banks that with shady financial products and constructions both cause and cause were for that crisis. Less than six years after the outbreak of the banking crisis in 2008, the Euribor scandal has reappeared. If we as a society do not realize that the banks must be protected from themselves, that not only the banks, but also the people behind those banks must be held accountable, and that severe punishments are needed, our civilization threatens to perish. And faster than we think. Because today we are in a world economy where a crisis in the US can cause one in China and a virus can go around the world. The fundamental point is that we don’t seem to mind white-collar crime and scams in general as much as physical crime. We seem to find it worse that someone gets robbed brutally for 100 euros, than that someone embezzles 10 billion euros very sophisticatedly, making people depressed, divorced or commit suicide. And that mentality urgently needs to change.