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Rest easy, this criminal mastermind is behind bars


August 6, 2012
London, England

At one point during lunch today at an infamously spicy Sichuan restaurant in London’s Soho district, my colleague turned to me and said, “You know, it’s shocking to me that there hasn’t been a single instance anywhere in the world of a banker getting beaten to death by the mob…”

I stopped for a moment, wondering if it was the cashew prawns talking. It wasn’t.

The idea seemed shocking to me as I’m not one to ponder the physical harm of others… but when you think about it, it is quite remarkable. Bankers are almost universally hated right now, and with good reason.

After all, they did play a key role in wrecking the world economy through bad speculations made with customers’ money… the very funds they had the most solemn fiduciary responsibility of managing with care.

Then they went on to present people with a cataclysmic scenario in order to strong-arm a taxpayer bailout, after which they stopped lending to just about everything that didn’t come with a government repurchase agreement.

Shortly after, Bob Diamond, then-CEO of Barclays, famously quipped that ‘the time for banks to apologize is over…’

Of course, then came the LIBOR scandal in which those same banks, including Barclays, were caught outright lying and colluding to screw consumers through interest rate manipulation.

We’ve also seen banks fail to heed the lessons of 2007, losing billions from derivatives exposure and trading algorithms gone wild.

Everyone takes it on the chin. The customers. The taxpayers. The shareholders. Everyone, of course, except the baking elite.

Throughout it all, despite so many taxpayer bailouts and the damage that their fractional reserve system has caused to the global economy, the banking elite has still managed to maintain its wealth and status.

Sure, the oddball Madoff or Rajaratnam case occasionally surfaces, but for the most part, not a single member of the banking elite has been charged with a crime.

You know who has been charged with a crime, though? Gary Harrington. In case you haven’t heard of this criminal mastermind, Mr. Harrington was recently sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $1,500 for a most heinous crime against humanity.

His transgression? NINE misdemeanor convictions of collecting rainwater on his private property. That’s right… this vile miscreant had the felonious intent to set up rainwater collection systems on his private property to capture water that falls freely from the sky… an obvious violation of Medford, Oregon’s 1925 law which awards ALL water to the government.

So Gary Harrington goes to jail for collecting rainwater. And every single banker who has been complicit in defrauding billions of people around the world walks freely on the streets. Or rather drives freely on the streets in their Maseratis.

There are countless other stories of what I call the ‘criminalization of existence’– people like Gary getting abused by the state for the most innocuous activities. There are so many laws, rules, policies, and regulations on the books, you can hardly breathe without violating one of them.

And yet, despite all of these rules and regulations, there’s not a single one that can be brought against those who lie, cheat, steal, and collude to defraud the entire world.

This is the nature of democracy today. It is the criminals who write the rules and the good people who go to jail.

Have you hit your breaking point yet?

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Robspe51

    This piece reminded me of the French fishermen who were fined and imprisoned for bringing seawater home in which to boil the fish they caught.  They just scooped some water out of the sea because they had found the fish tasted better steamed in seawater.  But France has – or had – a salt tax, the gabelle.  And the judge found that these felonious ne’er-do-wells were using already salty seawater to avoid using packaged -and taxed – salt in the water.  They would have had to pay tax if they hadn’t stolen the regime’s seawater. Just like Obamacare’s mandate that even those who don’t want or need health care have to pay for it, the French law penalized anyone who managed to avoid paying money for their salt.  I’m sure this measure these days would be defended on “environmental” grounds.  Wouldn’t want the oceans to become depleted, you know!  What’s next, a tax on sunlight?  Oops, wouldn’t want to give them any ideas!

  • Guest

    Just because some poor shlub has been prosecuted for collecting rain water doesn’t mean, ipso facto, that bankers should be prosecuted — unless someone can actually prove that they’ve committed a crime.  Taking stupid risks, the last time I checked, is not criminal, and the only thing we’ll achieve from a wholesale prosecution of bankers is a deterrent against risk taking.  Now, that would be a crime.

    • Musical Priest

      Taking stupid risks is criminal(Especially by liscenced professionals) if it damages other people, and should be prosecuted in a court of law. Pre-emptive war for example is criminal, it’s what we tried and convicted Nazi’s for at the Nurenburg trials.

  • http://www.facebook.com/procinctu.info Vigilo Procinctu

    good point….. but of all people, you would be among those i least expect to be in London during the Olympics….

  • Dave

    So, you listen to the Power Hour, too, eh? ;-)

  • http://fablor.com/ Him Again

    Damn! I recently complained to to “Tinkerbell” over at the Daily Bell, because he is taking up more and more of my valuable time. (At my age time IS valuable).
    Now THIS.  Excellent stuff, well-written, AND well commented. Damn!

    But as SWMBO says, “Is anyone saying anything new? 20 years ago when you went into panic-mode it was because you forecast all this, then.”
    Why do we like repeating stories of doom and gloom?
     I have subscribed here, but is it not near as dammit, a mirror image of the Daily Bell?  
    So why am I reading both, instead of getting rich, or sleeping?
    Is it because we still seek *confirmation* of our worst fears for some strange reason?

    There is good PRACTICAL stuff here for those of you who are fully ambulatory and in the top 4% of money/asset holders.
    Still, unless you inherited it, or were as blind-lucky as the kids who founded Google, or Facebook, or Amazon, you really can’t be shown much at all.
    ( I DO exclude those two modern phenomena from everything, Apple and Microsoft, because they were  created by 2 supreme natural predator/psychologists.)

    I think the Owners of the new USA do need the 400 million dum-dum rounds. That’s only 2 shots per head of the population and in my personal experience, hitting anything moving with a pistol, requires a lot of practice.  I just don’t approve of dum-dums. They are still theoretically banned in “normal” warfare, I understand.

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