Charles P. Pierce, Esquire | RS_News | February 17 2012
OPINION | If all the things for which I have little patience – Willard Romney, lottery machines in convenience stores, and the current state of the Montreal Canadiens, to name only three – the notion that the best way to deal with things is to “look forward, not back” is right at the top of the list. This is especially true as regards the undeniable fact that, over the course of a decade, a bunch of cheats, thieves, and suited mountebanks stole most of the national economy and then wrecked whatever was left of it. But what’s most extraordinary about the whole thing is that, after they swindled their swindles and heisted their heists, and got paid off by the rest of us for having looted our naional economy, they all kept doing the same things they were doing before. These included extravagant bonuses and, of course, continued crimes of capital that ought to be capital crimes.
This is extraordinary. All this Citigroup fraud and thuggery took place after the events of the great meltdown had taken place. This whisteblower’s co-workers, instead of checking for fraud or making reports about underwriting defects to the FHA as required, argued with her over the soundness of the loans, she said. Employees who acted as “gatekeepers” applied “what they describe as ‘brute force’ to pressure Citi’s quality control managers” into downplaying defects, according to the government’s complaint.
Some colleagues had pay incentives tied to reducing the number of reported problems, and they spent hours trying to get her to relax her warnings, including those about the most basic deficiencies, Hunt said. “They started beating us up over the quality-control reports,” she said. Last year, she said, she became convinced she was being asked to look the other way on serious flaws. That’s when she decided to become a whistle-blower.
Last year. The more I think about it, the more I believe that we, as a society, gave up on the pillory too soon. And $158.3 million is tip money for CitiGroup.
This is what happens when real punishment for real crimes is considered to be too inconvenient, or too difficult, or too traumatic for the nation, which is made up completely of candyglass children incapable of existing with the knowledge that their financial lords of the universe are really no different from stick-up kids in a bodega. This is what happens when nobody goes to jail. This is what happens today.
- How Citibank Dumped Lousy Mortgages on the Government (propublica.org)
- Citigroup Whistle-Blower Says Bank’s ‘Brute Force’ Hid Bad Loans (businessweek.com)