NEW YORK — A federal judge Wednesday challenged the SEC’s plan to settle a fraud case against Citigroup for $285 million, saying that the deal would recoup only a fraction of investors’ losses and would leave the firm free to proclaim its innocence in private lawsuits over the remaining damages.
The judge used the Citigroup case to mock the SEC’s traditional way of doing business — allowing defendants to settle without admitting or denying wrongdoing.
The unproven allegations, U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff said, “are no better than rumor or gossip.”
“Does not the SEC of all agencies have an interest in establishing what the truth is?” Rakoff asked.
Well yes, it should. But it doesn’t. And here’s the real problem: This isn’t the first offense.
In fact Citi has already promised not to do it again many years ago. And yet they did it again. This is not unique; let’s remember NY Fed board member Kindler
New York-based Pfizer agreed to pay $430 million in criminal fines and civil penalties, and the company’s lawyers assured Loucks and three other prosecutors that Pfizer and its units would stop promoting drugs for unauthorized purposes.
What Loucks, who’s now acting U.S. attorney in Boston, didn’t know until years later was that Pfizer managers were breaking that pledge not to practice so-called off-label marketing even before the ink was dry on their plea.
On the morning of Sept. 2, 2009, another Pfizer unit, Pharmacia & Upjohn, agreed to plead guilty to the same crime. This time, Pfizer executives had been instructing more than 100 salespeople to promote Bextra, a drug approved only for the relief of arthritis and menstrual discomfort, for treatment of acute pains of all kinds.
Yeah. This disgusting practice is spread all over our financial system along with virtually all other areas of “rich and powerful” firms and individuals.
Claims that this is an “isolated incident” are blatant lies; among financial firms alone out of 19 firms you can count 51 offenses:
The problem with such “fines” is that the record demonstrates that they provide no deterrent at all. As I have repeatedly pointed out if the penalty for robbing a bank was that you had to give back 1/3rd of the loot — and that’s all — the bank would be robbed literally every hour on the hour.
The political folks who utterly refuse to address this issue – including the so-called “Tea Party” (Joe Walsh anyone? Or how about Steve Southerland?) are simply pointing out that you are considered peasants and under the boot of an imperious King who grants those in his favor the right to screw you with impunity.
If you continue to support and vote for these jackals on either side of the aisle — if you continue to provide consent of the governed to the government under those terms — then you’re consenting to being screwed.
It’s that simple folks
You want to know why “OWS” is right? It’s found right here in this sort of so-called “justice” that the SEC is trying to mete out. And don’t start this crap about it only being “Democrats” that do this sort of thing: The Republican Party controls The House which means it also controls appropriation of funds and could literally close any department or agency that refused to bring actual prosecutions and demand actual jail sentences.
The so-called “Rule of Law” party likes to run pretty commercials, and in fact Herman Cain’s campaign just called me seeking money a few minutes ago.
I told them that I’d give them a donation when hell freezes over, as not only does Judge Rakoff discern that this sort of “settlement” is a sham but so do I, and I’m not funding any more of that crap.
The “nice girl” on the other end of the phone hung up on me. Well f$#c you very little Herman, along with the rest of the Republican field.
The Tea Party had every opportunity to stand on exactly this principle and demand handcuffs and real solutions, and in fact Santelli’s Scream was founded on this very principle, as has been my advocacy since I started this publication. But that foundation — The Rule of Law and equality under the law — was almost-immediately co-opted by pretty-face Palin and others who immediately turned the focus to things that had nothing to do with how our economy got to be where it is.
If the “Tea Party” wishes to avoid being buried by history then it needs to get in front of this issue now and join with the only group of people who are currently out in the street protesting this exact crime. They need to refuse to go home until the jackals that caused this economic mess are in the dock for their offenses. This singular focus and the dismantling of the fraudulent edifices that permeate our financial system can be accomplished; what’s more important is that doing so now is infinitely preferable to continuing the Ponzi and winding up with even more damage to be absorbed. There’s an opportunity here but the time remaining to take advantage of it is fleeting and soon will be gone if not seized.
That existing group, incidentally, is called Occupy Wall Street.