Here's a little something to help get those head-upon-pike visions dancing in your heads:
The Obama administration has given yet another sloppy, wet, incestuous kiss to the criminal financial enterprise of which it is an integral part. And taking a cue from Republicans, they're even scapegoating Bengha-a-a-a-zi for their delay in announcing their settlement with Citigroup. You read that right. This is a settlement between partners. There will be no prosecution. The guy whom the administration is actually prosecuting is one of those
The New York Times immediately lets you know that Eric Holder's Justice Department and the banksters of Citigroup are co-conspirators who achieved rapprochement during a fraught series of high-level meet-ups, divvying up the territory and the loot. Citigroup even gets "top billing" in the lede. We know right away who's the Boss, and who's the obsequious factotum in this modern retelling of "The Godfather."
Citigroup and the Justice Department have agreed to a $7 billion deal that will settle a federal investigation into the mortgage securities the bank sold in the run-up to the financial crisis.
The settlement, announced on Monday morning, includes a $4 billion cash penalty to the Justice Department – the largest payment of its kind – as well as $2.5 billion in so-called soft dollars earmarked for aiding struggling consumers and $500 million to state attorneys general and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.That four billion ostensibly going to DOJ will be direct-deposited to Treasury, which will hasten to open wide its window to Wall Street. The "penalty" money will be recycled into overnight zero-interest loans between sharks. The money earmarked for struggling consumers will go through middle-men creditors and bureacrats. Because they struggle too, in their endless greedy quest for more, more and more. And some will go into the FDIC to insure TBTF banks against
The deal, after months of contentious negotiations, averts a lawsuit that would have proved costly for both sides and resolves a civil investigation into Citigroup’s packaging and selling of mortgage securities that soured during the financial crisis, causing large losses to investors.If you can't make the time to endure those boring negotiations with your weak government partner, then don't do the crime. Also, get your P.R. people ready to feed the New York Times your version of the story. That would be a piece of pulp fiction that transforms some of the worst consumer fraud in the history of the world into little snack-packs that just mysteriously "went sour" all by themselves, causing investors to feel nauseous. There will be no mention of all of the millions of regular people who became jobless and homeless as a result of the crime spree.
As a result of their wink-and-nod assurances, Barack Obama was also able to expand his administration with Citigroup wise guys, many of whom collected fat bonuses from the bank on their way to their new gig -- ready, willing and able to double-stiff the stiffs they've left rotting in foreclosed America.“The bank’s misconduct was egregious,’’ Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement. “As a result of their assurances that toxic financial products were sound, Citigroup was able to expand its market share and increase profits.”
As Elizabeth Warren observes,
Starting with Robert Rubin – a former Citi CEO – three of the last four Treasury secretaries under Democratic presidents have had Citigroup affiliations before or after their Treasury service. (The fourth was offered, but declined, Citigroup’s CEO position.) Directors of the National Economic Council and Office of Management and Budget, as well as our current U.S. trade representative, also have had strong ties to Citigroup.So Eric Holder dutifully slaps their wrists even as he slaps government kisses all over their expanded asses. He absolves them by euphemizing some of the worst fraud in the history of history as mere "misconduct."
Ah yes, rental housing. Citigroup is among the felons who bought up all those foreclosed houses for cash, at bargain prices, and are now renting them back to the same people they once unceremoniously kicked out. Citigroup is a slumlord trillionaire. Even worse, oftentimes they don't even have the right to suck more money from the homes they foreclosed -- because they don't actually own them!The consumer relief will involve financing for the construction and preservation of affordable multifamily rental housing, principal reduction and forbearance for residential mortgages and other direct consumer benefits from various relief programs, the bank said.
But the endless greed-washing and self-serving continue through their Times mouthpiece:
We believe that this settlement is in the best interests of our shareholders, and allows us to move forward and to focus on the future, not the past,” Citigroup’s chief executive, Michael L. Corbat, said in a statement.They are just like the unprosecuted Bush torturers, whom Obama also failed to prosecute. Of them, he'd also infamously said "We must look forward, not backward." Citigroup will forge ahead, screwing the citizens of the world with impunity as they reap more rewards for themselves.
He (AG Holder) said the settlement on Monday did not absolve “Citigroup or its individual employees” from facing future criminal charges.Yes, it does. He knows it, we know it and the Wall Street mafia knows it. Eric Holder still works for them. He's just temporarily changed his geographical location in order to provide them with the exact same legal services he'd been giving them for decades.
To be fair, though, the actual task of settling with the Citigroup mob fell to Obama consigliere Tony West, third in command at the DOJ family. It fell to West to hilariously blame the time-consuming Benghazi prosecution for failure to take Citigroup to even a civil trial, let alone a criminal proceeding and finally sending a bunch of plutocrats to prison. (West, incidentally, previously handled Habeas petititions of Guantanamo detainees and once privately represented convicted American Taliban, John Walker Lindh.)
How times have changed. Because now West is invested in the civil rights of banks, which unlike the regular humans rotting in prisons, are deemed corporate persons too big and fat to jail. So the Times is on it again, insinuating that Justice is really, really getting tough on them this time:
Time was running out. Prosecutors had set a deadline of June 13 for Citigroup to present its best offer. Although Theodore Wells Jr. and Brad Karp, two of the bank’s lawyers at Paul Weiss, sought an extension, Mr. West and Mr. Graber said no.
With only hours to go, Citigroup was dealt a rude shock. News reports indicated that the Justice Department was planning to sue the bank.
Oh well. What threatened to become a small-scale mob war, upsetting the hierarchy of the government-corporate cartel, turned out to be just more Godfather Kabuki theater. Lots of offers were made that ultimately could not be refused. The only one taking the hit is the American public.To Citigroup, the message from the Justice Department was clear: Ratchet up the offer or face a long and bruising court battle. That evening, with the threat looming, Mr. Wells phoned Mr. West to raise the prospect of a broader settlement that would include state attorneys general from California and elsewhere, as well as the F.D.I.C. Mr. West — whose sister-in-law happens to be the attorney general of California — suggested an extra $900 million payment for the states and the F.D.I.C.
Tony West is not only married to California AG Kamala Harris's sister (a vice president of the Ford Foundation). His incestuous bona fides also include work as a Democratic Party
Unlike the good old organized crime days of the Mafia, the money no longer even needs to be hidden in paper bags. The corruption is right out there in the open. They're proud sociopaths, gleefully rubbing our noses in it. On Bastille Day, no less.
They're counting on whimpering puppies. So let's surprise them with some pissed-off pit bulls for a change.