Put bankers in jail

Joseph Stiglitz -- former World Bank economist and Nobel economics laureate -- has a suggestion for dealing with the Barclay's bank scandals and those that follow: put bankers in jail.


  1. I think that I’m supposed to accuse him of being a pothead hippie buying starbucks on his parent’s dime and demanding that society provide him a $100k/yr job to fit his degree in Sensitivity Studies; but I’m not sure that that one will work here…

    In other news, owning a bank still the most efficient way of robbing one.

  2. Blaah socialism communism overregulation!!! Rabble rabble free market!!!

    But really, nut up and put these douchebags in jail, US government. I know, I know, they give you campaign donations. That doesn’t mean you can’t give them a taste of their own medicine and jail them anyways.

    1. Barclay’s is an English bank.
      Also, the US has no right to put an English citizen who is currently in England in jail.  Unless you’re a dirty file linker, like Richard O’Dwyer.  Because doing something that’s legal in your own country but illegal in the US means you get extradited to the US and tried under US law.

      1. Thanks for the correction. You get my point though, this applies to the US banks mostly.

          1. A UK court case involving Barclays bank mostly applies to the US?

            Funny that you should ask….

            A disgraced London banker has rescinded an offer to co-host a high-dollar fundraiser for Mitt Romney, sparing the GOP hopeful the difficulty of appearing at a lavish event with a man embroiled in scandal. Romney’s plan to hold a fundraiser in London this summer with Barclays CEO Robert Diamond was reported June 28 by the London Telegraph. The cost of the dinner seemed to shock the British paper, which noted that “the price of invitations dwarfs the amounts paid for such fund-raisers in British politics.”


      2. What I find alarming about this Libor-manipulation stuff(aside from the lingering smell to the effect that the BoE and assorted state figures may be more involved than they would prefer to admit), is that manipulating it almost certainly was some thousands of crimes, in the UK and elsewhere; but that seems to be being largely ignored in favor of a single, rather tepid, fine against an abstract corporate entity…

        The number of financial instruments, bonuses, stock-portfolio-values, etc, etc. linked to the rate being manipulated is almost incomprehensibly gigantic. Lying to your benefit in transactions with others is, at least in little-people-land, fraud

        It’d be an arcane mess to unravel it all; but we would be talking a count of fraud per asset for some huge number of Barclay’s(and personal) assets across a number of jurisdictions. As long as the sentences run consecutively, not concurrently…

  3. When they start putting these shits in jail I will regain some confidence in the system. And pigs will fly.

  4. OK: it’s time to stop fucking around about politics, folks. We’ve got to assemble an alternative party platform that libertarians, greens, Randian objectivists, socialists, Paulians and dejected former Obamaniacs can all agree on. How about:

    Plank #1: Put bankers in jail

    Plank #2: We’ll worry about Plank #2 when enough bankers are in jail

    1. The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.
      Then we can get on to the bankers without the lawyers spinning it out for years.

      1. “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

        Whoa.  Even though I realise you’re joking (though people have faced criminal charges for similar ‘jokes’), that was a bit shocking.  What about lawyers who prosecute child rapists, or those those merely administer the wills of little old ladies?  Do they go up against your wall too?

  5. Is it OK with everyone if we go through a few formalities like trials before we start to jail people?

      1. That is clearly not correct. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2166118/Justice-Department-conducting-criminal-investigation-SEC-chair-warns-Barclays-rate-manipulations-tip-the-iceberg.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9362290/SFO-in-talks-with-City-regulator-over-Barclays-Osborne.html

      1. If you can reference what named individuals were convicted of what criminal offences in the “Barclays trial”, then go ahead and jail them. I’m not aware of any such trial having occurred. I’m actually not aware of any trials having taken place, just regulatory enforcement processes by the SEC and the FSA.

      1. Yes, and in the article Stiglitz is quoted as follows “The first step, he says, is sending some bankers to jail.” This is clearly wrong. A possible first step would be to gather some evidence with a view to criminal prosecution — and this is in fact happening, so it’s hard to see what he’s actually calling for unless it is in fact a horrendous violation of due process.

        1. Arrest them, take them to jail without bail (because of their flight risk due to their massive resources), then hold a trial.

          You know, what normal people get when they cause damage equivalent to that.

  6. Come the revolution these weasels will be the first up against the wall anyway…. we just need a revolution. 

    1. More likely they’ll rent you the wall and sell you the guns and ammo. And then get important jobs under the new regime.

  7. Is it terribly simplistic to think that if you’ve got $50 million in the bank, you’re gonna be guilty of SOMETHING? :)

    (Yes, but it’d sure save time!)

    At the last minute, allow them to skip jail for 80% of their assets, they get to stay stupidly rich,  we get back some of the tax money we’ve been hurling their way in the billions, oh hand lastly, we make their details public, ensuring they have to hire bodyguards and private seecurity, finally making them ACTUAL job creators :)

    1. yeah, sure, abandoning the rule of law, fair trials and due process for vigilante justice sounds like a great idea.

      1. To be fair, it´s not like most bankers give very much of a shit about the rule of law, except for modeling it to turn a blind eye to their particular sort of crime. So yeah, I´m not so sure anymore that the rule of law is in place for the benefit of the general population.

  8. It’s interesting how very, very *concerned* some people are about using precise, due-process-respecting language in casual conversation …

    … when rich people are involved.

    Because, obviously, it’s so common for these things to get out of hand, and the next thing you know, rich people are being subjected to stop-and-frisk tactics, arrested on trumped-up charges (or no charges at all), and having their voting rights blocked with flimsily-justified targeted tactics. Heck, if we’re not careful, rich people might have to be very careful planning weddings, lest they’re targeted by CIA drones.

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