Written by Jeff Nielson Sunday, 15 June 2014 12:09
Historically, those committing serious financial crimes were often executed for their transgressions (or sentenced to some similarly suitable punishment), and one nation (China) currently punishes its own financial criminals in this manner. Another commentator, Jason Zweig, has neatly summarized the history here:
The history of drastic punishment for financial crimes may be nearly as old as wealth itself.
The Code of Hammurabi, more than 3,700 years ago, stipulated that any Mesopotamian who violated the terms of a financial contract – including the futures contracts that were commonly used in commodities trading in Babylon – “shall be put to death as a thief.”…
In medieval Catalonia, a banker who went bust wasn’t merely humiliated by town criers who declaimed his failure in public squares throughout the land; he had to live on nothing but bread and water until he paid off his depositors in full. If, after a year, he was unable to repay, he would be executed – as in the case of banker Francesch Castello, who was beheaded in 1360. Bankers who lied about their books could also be subject to the death penalty.
In Florence during the Renaissance, the Arte del Cambio – the guild of mercantile money-changers [i.e. bankers] who facilitated the city’s international trade – made the cheating of clients punishable by torture… [emphasis mine]
The rationale for applying this ultimate sanction to the most-serious financial crimes of today is simple. Even a modern-day Gun Nut, fully armed with quasi-military weapons can snuff-out the lives of no more than a few dozen innocents with their senseless slaughters.
Conversely, in our modern era of endless/unpunished financial mega-crimes; the victim-counts run much, much higher. A single Financial Criminal (i.e. banker) can financially devastate the lives of thousands, or even millions. Collectively, today’s Financial Criminals are directly responsible for the 100+ million permanently unemployed victims (across the West), what their parrots in the media call “the New Normal”.
In reality; it is the $trillions which the Financial Criminals have cumulatively plundered in their endless frauds which has hollowed-out our economies to the point where the phrase “full employment” is now nothing but fantasy-words which issue from the mouths of lying politicians. It is this hollowing-out (through financial crime) which has also cut in half the standard of living for hundreds of millions more across the Western world, transforming our Middle Class populations into the Working Poor.
Individually, millions more Victims have suffered total financial devastation (i.e. bankruptcy) at the hands of the Financial Criminals. Foreclosure-fraud, stock market fraud, pension fraud, LIBOR-fraud, and assorted other, serial crimes have left a wake of financial carnage unprecedented in human history.
Then there are the mass-lootings of the bankers. When the reckless gambling of these Big Banks spins so totally out of control that they blow-up their own financial system(s); the Big Banks can (and have) looted wealth by the $trillions. The Big Banks on the losing end of these reckless, gigantic, and generally illegal bets are indemnified by the people, so that the Big Banks on the winning end can be paid off.
The travesty and fraud and crime here is that both sets of these Big Banks are mere tentacles of the One Bank, a financial monolith which not only controls virtually all of the world’s Big Banks, but 40% of the entire global economy, according to the mathematical modeling of a trio of Swiss academics. The “gambling losses” are a fraud, massive paper-shams where one Big Bank tentacle incurs some gigantic, financial liability to another tentacle. Only the stealing (from us) was/is real.