Thursday, December 8, 2011

Family Guy writer was arrested at Occupy LA; fmr Citigroup CEO was not

No zipcuffs for him.
Patrick Meighan, a writer for the television series Family Guy, got arrested for peacefully demonstrating at Occupy LA at 1 a.m. on Wednesday. He didn't mind, because he'd chosen to be arrested. What he did mind was the LAPD ripping up personal belongings, scattering the remains on the ground and calling it "30 tons of garbage."

He also minded that Charles Prince, the former CEO of Citigroup, didn't get arrested. And he makes a compelling case why:
Under Charles Prince, Citigroup was guilty of massive, coordinated securities fraud. 
Citigroup spent years intentionally buying up every bad mortgage loan it could find, creating bad securities out of those bad loans and then selling shares in those bad securities to duped investors. And then they sometimes secretly bet *against* their *own* bad securities to make even more money. For one such bad Citigroup security, Citigroup executives were internally calling it, quote, “a collection of dogshit”. To investors, however, they called it, quote, “an attractive investment rigorously selected by an independent investment adviser”. 
This is fraud, and it’s a felony, and the Charles Princes of the world spent several years doing it again and again: knowingly writing bad mortgages, and then packaging them into fraudulent securities which they then sold to suckers and then repeating the process. This is a big part of why your property values went up so fast. But then the bubble burst, and that’s why our economy is now shattered for a generation, and it’s also why your home is now underwater. Or at least mine is. 
Anyway, if your retirement fund lost a decade’s-worth of gains overnight, this is why. 
If your son’s middle school has added furlough days because the school district can’t afford to keep its doors open for a full school year, this is why. 
If your daughter has come out of college with a degree only to discover that there are no jobs for her, this is why. 
But back to Charles Prince. For his four years of in charge of massive, repeated fraud at Citigroup, he received fifty-three million dollars in salary and also received another ninety-four million dollars in stock holdings. What Charles Prince has *not* received is a pair of zipcuffs. 
We can't disagree.