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(Reuters)   Justice Dept opposed to reducing sentences for white collar criminals except those on Wall Street. Bonus: Judge claims anything more than a year in prison for $2.4 BILLION is losses is "absurd"   (reuters.com) divider line 33
    More: Asinine, Wall Street, U.S., Ponzi schemes, Allen Stanford, U.S. Sentencing Commission  
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1113 clicks; posted to Business » on 20 Sep 2013 at 8:21 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-20 08:29:33 AM  
is "headline" is absurd

how is baby formed
 
2013-09-20 08:31:33 AM  
Life in prison is absurd for losing $2.4Billion, but it is just right for selling pot.
 
2013-09-20 08:52:58 AM  

EvilEgg: Life in prison is absurd for losing $2.4Billion, but it is just right for selling pot.


To be fair the losing $2.4 billion just destroyed hundreds of thousands of peoples lives, while smoking pot got a few people high for a short time. It clear that the later is by far a greater evil.
 
2013-09-20 09:18:25 AM  
What's the point of reformulating sentencing guidelines when you don't have the backbone to actually
prosecute anyone?
 
2013-09-20 10:24:59 AM  
Losing money in itself is not and should not be a crime.
 
2013-09-20 10:34:22 AM  
It's only money.
 
2013-09-20 10:35:33 AM  

DjangoStonereaver: What's the point of reformulating sentencing guidelines when you don't have the backbone to actually
prosecute anyone?


This, unless the stiffness of penalties causes prosecutors not to prosecute!
 
2013-09-20 10:46:35 AM  
Although it is far far harder to actually show a criminal act in most such trades (i.e. it is not, and likely should not be, a crime to be both greedy and incompetent), if they do, then i say fark em, or as Uncle Pratchett says:

"You Have Killed Two Point Three Three Eight People," said the golem calmly.
"I have never laid a finger on anyone in my life, Mr Pump. I may be-- all the things you know I am, but I am not a killer! I have never so much as drawn a sword!"
"No, You Have Not. But You Have Stolen, Embezzled, Defrauded And Swindled Without Discrimination, Mr Lipvig. You Have Ruined Businesses And Destroyed Jobs. When Banks Fail, It Is Seldom Bankers Who Starve. Your Actions Have Taken Money From Those Who Had Little Enough To Begin With. In A Myriad Small Ways You Have Hastened The Deaths Of Many. You Do Not Know Them. You Did Not See Them Bleed. But You Snatched Bread From Their Mouths And Tore Clothes From Their Backs. For Sport, Mr Lipvig. For Sport. For The Joy Of The Game."
 
2013-09-20 10:56:33 AM  

DjangoStonereaver: What's the point of reformulating sentencing guidelines when you don't have the backbone to actually prosecute anyone?


It is often not backbone - its that proving an actual crime has been committed is really really hard.

Scenario A
Alice has some money.  Bob says, hey Alice, i have an investment which will make us both money!  Alice gives bob her money.  However Alice doesn't know that Bob is both not very smart, and has no systemic reason to care what happens to Alice's money.  Bob makes the investment and in so doing makes himself a boatload of money.  Then the investment fails.  Alice is mostly wiped out, but Bob keeps the fees/payouts.

Scenario B
Alice has some money.  Bob says, hey Alice, i have an investment which will make us both money!  Alice gives bob her money.  However Alice doesn't know that Bob is unscrupulous and knows that the investment will fail.  Bob makes the investment and in so doing makes himself a boatload of money.  Then the investment fails.  Alice is mostly wiped out, but Bob keeps the fees/payouts.

To make things overly simple, the emphasized passage is the only real thing that distinguishes between Bob being a moron (A) and Bob being a criminal (B).  Given that this difference is basically only within Bob's head, and people who are acting badly often know better than to say so in print, its not so much that the DoJ doesn't have the balls, its that doing discovery to find this info costs millions of dollars and often ends up with no evidence at all.

This is not to say that that the DoJ doesnt puss out (see anything to so with the pretty clearly fraudulent magnetar style trades) but much of the "why dont they send em to jail!!!" complaining doesn't fully take the difficulty into account.
 
2013-09-20 10:58:22 AM  
How about the death penalty.  Can we use the death penalty.
 
2013-09-20 11:22:58 AM  
Defense lawyers, the American Bar Association, some judges and others have criticized the guidelines, saying they emphasize financial losses caused by crime over all other factors, sometimes resulting in sentences that are too severe

Is it more than 10 years?  Because 10 years is what a Deadhead gets for possessing LSD at a concert.  Anything less than 10 years for these people is completely inadequate.
 
2013-09-20 11:32:25 AM  

Teiritzamna: Although it is far far harder to actually show a criminal act in most such trades (i.e. it is not, and likely should not be, a crime to be both greedy and incompetent), if they do, then i say fark em, or as Uncle Pratchett says:

"You Have Killed Two Point Three Three Eight People," said the golem calmly.
"I have never laid a finger on anyone in my life, Mr Pump. I may be-- all the things you know I am, but I am not a killer! I have never so much as drawn a sword!"
"No, You Have Not. But You Have Stolen, Embezzled, Defrauded And Swindled Without Discrimination, Mr Lipvig. You Have Ruined Businesses And Destroyed Jobs. When Banks Fail, It Is Seldom Bankers Who Starve. Your Actions Have Taken Money From Those Who Had Little Enough To Begin With. In A Myriad Small Ways You Have Hastened The Deaths Of Many. You Do Not Know Them. You Did Not See Them Bleed. But You Snatched Bread From Their Mouths And Tore Clothes From Their Backs. For Sport, Mr Lipvig. For Sport. For The Joy Of The Game."


thank you
 
2013-09-20 11:33:52 AM  
$2.4 Billion was a bunch of money not long ago.

/hell, 2.4 Million was a bunch of money not long ago.
//now it has to be Trillion before anyone really gives a shiat
 
2013-09-20 11:45:32 AM  

Teiritzamna: Although it is far far harder to actually show a criminal act in most such trades (i.e. it is not, and likely should not be, a crime to be both greedy and incompetent), if they do, then i say fark em, or as Uncle Pratchett says:

"You Have Killed Two Point Three Three Eight People," said the golem calmly.
"I have never laid a finger on anyone in my life, Mr Pump. I may be-- all the things you know I am, but I am not a killer! I have never so much as drawn a sword!"
"No, You Have Not. But You Have Stolen, Embezzled, Defrauded And Swindled Without Discrimination, Mr Lipvig. You Have Ruined Businesses And Destroyed Jobs. When Banks Fail, It Is Seldom Bankers Who Starve. Your Actions Have Taken Money From Those Who Had Little Enough To Begin With. In A Myriad Small Ways You Have Hastened The Deaths Of Many. You Do Not Know Them. You Did Not See Them Bleed. But You Snatched Bread From Their Mouths And Tore Clothes From Their Backs. For Sport, Mr Lipvig. For Sport. For The Joy Of The Game."


At the commonly-cited value of $7m per prime earning life, a $2.4 billion dollar fraud would be the equivalent of the best mass murderer ever (400 people).  Seems to me that the death penalty would be appropriate in that case.
 
2013-09-20 11:47:14 AM  
I oppose sending wall street types and bankers to prison...

They should be lined up against a wall and shot.
 
2013-09-20 11:54:40 AM  
Death by a thousand cuts
 
2013-09-20 12:06:46 PM  

RsquaredW: At the commonly-cited value of $7m per prime earning life,


Can you explain this? Is that what an "average" person is supposed to earn in their lifetime? If so, that's 140k for 50 years, which doesn't seem average at all.
 
2013-09-20 12:31:39 PM  

skrame: RsquaredW: At the commonly-cited value of $7m per prime earning life,

Can you explain this? Is that what an "average" person is supposed to earn in their lifetime? If so, that's 140k for 50 years, which doesn't seem average at all.


Maybe that's how much a human resource produces for a company?:)
 
2013-09-20 12:45:41 PM  
Understand the judge is a government employee, just like other politicians.  You don't want to start a precedent of punishing people for losing money.  Next up might be prison time for wasting money and it might involve more than just private sector perps.  Whether it's Solyndra or funding the DEA we can't start talking about punishing people for throwing our tax dollars down the shiatter.  That's crazy talk.
 
2013-09-20 12:53:31 PM  

skrame: RsquaredW: At the commonly-cited value of $7m per prime earning life,

Can you explain this? Is that what an "average" person is supposed to earn in their lifetime? If so, that's 140k for 50 years, which doesn't seem average at all.


It's actuarial, so you get the benefit of what your activities and lifestyle impact the economy - not just your earning years, but also your retirement (at pro-rated value) and whatnot.  Though technically your life is"priceless" (and thus you cannot sell yourself or another into slavery), the replacement cost for a human life has to be estimated in all those man-year cost-benefit studies we do.
 
2013-09-20 12:59:07 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: Defense lawyers, the American Bar Association, some judges and others have criticized the guidelines, saying they emphasize financial losses caused by crime over all other factors, sometimes resulting in sentences that are too severe

Is it more than 10 years?  Because 10 years is what a Deadhead gets for possessing LSD at a concert.  Anything less than 10 years for these people is completely inadequate.


How many politicians does your "Deadhead" own? 0? Fark you. If you're not willing to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars to buy laws that are favorable to you, don't come whining to me when you get screwed over by the system.
 
2013-09-20 01:16:03 PM  

mod3072: How many politicians does your "Deadhead" own? 0? Fark you. If you're not willing to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars to buy laws that are favorable to you, don't come whining to me when you get screwed over by the system.


I.e. they dont care enough.

here is the great secret about American politics - big moneyed interests win not because they have lots of money, but because they care enough to use it.  Most of those companies got their money from (wait for it) groups of actual Americans.    If everyone who liked to smoke up put $10 in a jar every week, and then pooled that cash together to lobby congress, i promise you they would out-spend any anti-drug interests.  They just dont care to.

Or how about banking reform.  Supposedly we are all for it.  But since it is hard and not most people's priority no one seems to want to pony up 5-10 dollars to start a PAC to fight for it.  Which means that we have one side who has a ton of money and keeping the system rigged is their #1 issue, and another side that (no really) has a ton of money and says they want to fix the system, but would rank it, like #57 after getting laid, eating transfats and fixing cable TV to suck less.  When the interest levels are that different, i promise the anti-reform side will win every single time.

TL;DR why do the moneyed interests own Washington, because we let them.
 
2013-09-20 01:33:43 PM  

Nuclear Monk: skrame: RsquaredW: At the commonly-cited value of $7m per prime earning life,

Can you explain this? Is that what an "average" person is supposed to earn in their lifetime? If so, that's 140k for 50 years, which doesn't seem average at all.

Maybe that's how much a human resource produces for a company?:)


shiat if half my employees were that productive I'd be so rich you couldn't see me I'd have my own secret lair on the moon.
 
2013-09-20 01:36:50 PM  

Nuclear Monk: Maybe that's how much a human resource produces for a company?:)


If you go that route, it seems kind of low.  I hit that threshold about every 16 to 18 months for my company and it's not even enough for them to consider providing benefits.
 
2013-09-20 01:38:37 PM  
We get it. Obama is blah. Get over it. He never said the hope and change would be for the little guy.
 
2013-09-20 01:43:03 PM  

Teiritzamna: TL;DR why do the moneyed interests own Washington, because we let them.


If you don't have money, you can't afford to think long-term.  If I'm a schlub that puts $10 away instead of buying a pack of smokes, I feel it immediately because I don't have any smokes.  If I'm a banking exec worth a billion dollars, I can afford to throw 100m at a PAC to get a law rewritten in a way that will give a 10% return in a couple of years.  It's not like I was going to spend it.
 
2013-09-20 01:52:34 PM  

IrateShadow: Teiritzamna: TL;DR why do the moneyed interests own Washington, because we let them.

If you don't have money, you can't afford to think long-term.  If I'm a schlub that puts $10 away instead of buying a pack of smokes, I feel it immediately because I don't have any smokes.  If I'm a banking exec worth a billion dollars, I can afford to throw 100m at a PAC to get a law rewritten in a way that will give a 10% return in a couple of years.  It's not like I was going to spend it.


See that's just not true, and plays into the conservative narrative that the poor are just stupid about money.  Lots of people of limited means can think ahead, can save money for something they want.  I have been quite poor, and known many who were much poorer, and I and many others often put $10 a week away for something.  The difference is what that something is.  Most regular people put money away for things they want, that they think will make thier life better.   A car so they can commute faster, a better apartment, a trip to disneyland.  Whatever it is.  And this is not bad.  The trick is when a hedge fund manager puts money away for something he wants, he puts it into lobbying because its #1 on his list of things he cares about. 

If you told most people that they could take 1% of their money and all-but ensure that they can make more money next year, or take no money and have a high likelihood of being put out of business, they will spend the farking money.   The thing is, most people dont think that way.  The only ones who do, tend to be rich.  They care more about banking reform because it is their life, their livelihood, their entire life.  They care about banking reform the way i care about IP law and porn - so its no surprise that they outspend people who's main contact with banking is the ATM.   We should fix that.*

/*which means, weirdly enough, that we should be using post-Citizens United PACs
 
2013-09-20 01:59:55 PM  

Teiritzamna: Although it is far far harder to actually show a criminal act in most such trades (i.e. it is not, and likely should not be, a crime to be both greedy and incompetent), if they do, then i say fark em, or as Uncle Pratchett says:

"You Have Killed Two Point Three Three Eight People," said the golem calmly.
"I have never laid a finger on anyone in my life, Mr Pump. I may be-- all the things you know I am, but I am not a killer! I have never so much as drawn a sword!"
"No, You Have Not. But You Have Stolen, Embezzled, Defrauded And Swindled Without Discrimination, Mr Lipvig. You Have Ruined Businesses And Destroyed Jobs. When Banks Fail, It Is Seldom Bankers Who Starve. Your Actions Have Taken Money From Those Who Had Little Enough To Begin With. In A Myriad Small Ways You Have Hastened The Deaths Of Many. You Do Not Know Them. You Did Not See Them Bleed. But You Snatched Bread From Their Mouths And Tore Clothes From Their Backs. For Sport, Mr Lipvig. For Sport. For The Joy Of The Game."


I need to get off my ass and send my letter to him while he can (hopefully) still read it. That man's books have been a huge (positive) influence on my life.
 
2013-09-20 02:52:17 PM  

umad: We get it. Obama is blah. Get over it. He never said the hope and change would be for the little guy.


Obama hired a tax-cheating Goldman Sachs man for the first Treasury Secretary. Anyone who thought Obama cared for the little guy is truly dumb enough to be a paying member of the Total Fark Hive-Mind.
 
2013-09-20 03:32:58 PM  

swaxhog: is "headline" is absurd

how is baby babby formed


\pet peeve
 
2013-09-20 09:59:52 PM  
i39.tinypic.com
 
2013-09-20 11:57:53 PM  

Teiritzamna: It is often not backbone - its that proving an actual crime has been committed is really really hard.

TV's Vinnie: [i39.tinypic.com image 578x720]


If a Doctor operates on a patient and the patient dies, there is an investigation to determine whether the Doc was inept, or shiat happened; ideally by a board who has a clue and not 12 people picked specifically because they know nothing about it. (I do know of a case when I was in the service that the Doctor went to prison over that whole 'bad intent' thing, but I would imagine that would be rare). Either way, the doctor carries malpractice insurance and the bigger screwup he is, or the bigger risk of his specialty (neurosurgeon vs. podiatrist), his rates may eventually reach a point where he either has to find a new profession or move to a less litigious area.

I see no reason why an investor, (or bank for that matter), should not be held to a similar standard and require similar malpractice insurance. (Not to sidetrack but I'd like to see docs and other professionals be able to form coops and pool their money for coverage instead of pissing it away to the insurance companies, but that's another tl;dr).

But then again I don't understand why a good 80% of the crap going to civil court isn't arbitrated before people who actually understand the issues involved.

I'm not even going to start on the ridiculous 'inequities' between rich and poor sentencing. I could easily write pages of recommendations in regard to 'poor' prison reform (a brother worked many years in a supervisory capacity in the prison industry - lol we don't agree on everything, but I certainly listen when he talks).

Do not mistake my anger at how ridiculously unjust the current system is (mandatory minimums come to mind) with some 'poor, misunderstood, society-did-this-to them-prisoners-are-victims' hand wringing. A large portion of the prison population are insane, many of them criminally insane. Living conditions and extreme isolation would drive most men mad after a few weeks, and many of them are there for decades. A large portion need to be removed and provided real medical treatment, but - and as bluntly as I can put it - a significant portion need to be put down. New prison design and programs to try and reduce the need to do this to so many in the future, but a large percentage currently in supermax... I'm not going to share real stories, but psychopath/sociopath does not begin to describe many of them, or the things they've done. As to the whole capital punishment thing, after you've locked someone up for 25+ years, is it more humane to put them down or let them rot for the rest of their life? Obviously there are exceptions, but most who have been in for an extended time have zero shot outside - especially as the deck is stacked against them since the mechanism to reintegrate them is, for the most part, broken.

However, I do believe an excellent start for white collar prison criminals: virtually eliminate prison sentencing and instead initiate the 'asshat' tax. Anyone charged with a white collar crime their assets are frozen, any BS actions to try and xfer and/or hide assets among friends/relatives may cause their accounts to be frozen/audited and be charged as well.  Upon conviction, everything they own is liquidated. Everything. Depending on the severity of the crime, a percentage of between 5 - 20% is kept and put into a victim's fund, they can use the rest to buy back the wedding album, family pet, etc. They pay an additional 10% asshat income tax for seven years.

They get caught again... rinse, repeat.
 
2013-09-21 08:59:46 AM  
Crime, just a cost of doing business on Wall Street.
 
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