I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for many of the people working on Wall Street these days, but the Occupy movement’s decision to solely target the private sector for financial corruption only distracted Americans from the real financial crisis – white collar crime.
According to recent Securities Exchange enforcement actions and news reports, financial corruption is also coming from government sponsored agencies and even Congress
As of Sept. 30, the Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a record 735 enforcement actions for the fiscal year, and of those 146 were related to investment advisers and companies – a 30 percent increase from last year. Broker-dealers also made up 112 of the actions, a 60 percent increase from before.
The SEC has also filed a lawsuit against executives with Fannie and Freddie Mae, saying that the two government-sponsored agencies played a significant role in creating the demand for sub-prime mortgages contributing to the 2008 financial crisis.
The fact of the matter is that white-collar crime, insider trading and unethical financial practices are rampant not only on Wall Street, but in government sponsored agencies and even Congress (check out Peter Schweizer’s new book, ‘Throw Them All Out‘ which was recently featured by CBS’ 60 Minutes).
The word ‘greed’ doesn’t even come close to what corrupt brokers, financiers and politicians have done to this country. Criminal is more appropriate.
Unfortunately, the number of SEC enforcement actions and criminal prosecutions are slight compared to how much crime is actually being committed. Shack that up to a lack of funding, incompetence or maybe even corruption, but the general perception is that Wall Street seems to get away with everything but murder.
From this perception came anger, and from the anger arose a general sense of mistrust toward Wall Street, and a disdain for free enterprise. As a result, the Occupy movement emerged, a group that claimed to represent the mentality of 99 percent of Americans.
Unfortunately, the Occupy movement did not represent the 99 percent of us who just want to see ethical and fair capitalism. Instead, it attracted hostile communists, anarchists and criminals. As a result, nothing that was done at Occupy protests empowered the people. It only hurt people, and that’s literally speaking.
Just read the arrest reports.
In October, this journalist reported some of the worst crimes being committed at Occupy movements around the country, which included sexual assault, threats and acts of physical violence against both police and civilians. Since then however, crimes have become even worse. Earlier this month, a fugitive was actually extradited from Kentucky to face murder charges in California after “staying at the anti-Wall Street site in Oakland for at least two weeks.”
Criminal acts never occurred at Tea Party rallies despite the criticism they received, but somehow they became they became rampant at the Occupy protests. Perhaps that’s because the anarchist mentality dominating the Occupy protests was based on the flawed notion that police and authority in general is not unnecessary, and most of the people taking part in these demonstrations didn’t care enough to patrol their own territory.
As a result of these Occupy crimes, a voice that could have been recognized as protesting white-collar crime and championing legitimate American concerns became rightfully recognized as Marxist, decadent, dangerous and criminal.
Unfortunately, the result is that America has become distracted from the real problem of actual white-collar crime, and anyone wanting to complain about Wall Street corruption is now assumed to sympathize with the criminal, anti-free enterprise Occupy movement.
The criminal violence caused at Occupy protests has given Wall Street the ability to say, ‘You see what happens when you challenge our place in American society? You need us. When you challenge our omnipotent authority, the whole system of law and order comes crashing down.’
That’s not entirely true of course.
The American capitalist system has always worked, and legal stock trading is undeniably a part of it. What Americans don’t need is government sponsored enterprises and private shadow bank investment firms breaking the law and taking advantage of legal loopholes.
The Occupy movement has empowered Wall Street corruption by giving America something to fear more than the white collar criminals robbing us blind–the street protestor turned violent, endangering innocent women and children.
The Occupy movement has only distracted America from the real problem, which isn’t capitalism–it’s crime, and all crimes whether white-collar or ‘blue-collar’ should be taken seriously and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.