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Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street’

Financial Fraud by Wall Street and Mortgage Lenders: Ignorance and Stupidity Are No Excuse


eric-j-holder-jrIt’s not my fault. I didn’t know what I was doing. My boss made me do it. I didn’t realize it was wrong. Everybody else was doing it. Nobody told me. I didn’t mean to hurt anybody.

Now that the white collar criminals who perpetrated the mortgage crisis by deliberately giving loans to unqualified buyers and defrauding the country are on the brink of state and federal prosecution, they’re pleading “stupidity and ignorance.” According to the New York Times:

The question behind any cases brought against Wall Street will boil down to this: Was the worst economic crisis in decades caused by law-breaking or some terrible, but noncriminal, mix of greed, naïveté and blunders? The challenge for the Obama administration will be to prove that it was the former, said Michael F. Buchanan, a partner at Jenner & Block and a former United States attorney in New Jersey. “We punish people for intentional misconduct, we don’t punish them for stupidity or innocent mistakes,” he said. “If you’re a prosecutor, you want evidence that shows real dishonesty. You want something that shows that these people were doing something wrong, and they knew it.”

Really?! People receive speeding tickets when they don’t know they’re over the speed limit. For example, they’re preoccupied and don’t realize they’re going too fast or they miss a sign that the speed limit dropped from 65mph to 50mph. Should their tickets be forgiven because of ignorance? I wish.

Stupidity and ignorance are no excuse, hence, ignoratia juris non excusat (ignorance of the law does not excuse). Stupidity and ignorance do not exempt you from accountability and consequences, it just makes you a dumb crook. You’re still responsible for your actions. Even if you were just “following orders” because you were afraid of your boss, you’re complicit. Higher ups who encouraged these behaviors are doubly responsible for encouraging criminal business practices. If executives claim they were “unaware” of what was going on in their organizations, that makes them criminally negligent.

People who took out the bad mortgages with no thought of the morrow are just as culpable. Borrowers were scammed. Banks offered them a deal that was too good to be true. Banks preyed on people’s fantasies of McMansions, borrowers fell for it hook, line and sinker and now they’re paying for it.

A few years ago, a friend and I were in midtown Manhattan with our suitcases on our way to Penn Station. A man approached us and asked if we were interested in buying a “seriously discounted all inclusive day pass to a luxury spa” for $100. My friend and I  knew what was going on and asked very detailed questions about the spa, products, etc. With each question asked, he became irritated and tried to make us feel like stupid hicks because we didn’t recognize what a “great opportunity” (to be fleeced) he was offering us. We kept grilling him until he spotted two other women with suitcases and moved on. I called after him, “Good luck finding another mark!”

Even though we knew better, we both had an initial flash of excitement at the thought of having a day at the spa for next to nothing—until our brains resumed control over our ids. Had we fallen for his scam, we each would’ve been out $100 with little recourse—even if the police caught him. No one would have given us our money back. Unfair? Yes, but we would’ve learned a lesson about being gullible; it’s survival of the mentally fittest. I have the same view of people who signed on for mortgages that were beyond their means. They fell for a much bigger scam with a far more expensive lesson.

According to the same NYT article:

That nearly all of the banking industry acted the same, possibly reckless, way could actually help any executive who lands in court, lawyers said. The herdlike behavior suggested that bankers were competing for business using widely shared assumptions, rather than trying to get away with a crime. It would be hard to prove that anyone broke the rules, these lawyers said, since regulations in the riskiest parts of the mortgage industry were so lax.

Ahh, the “But Everybody Else Was Doing It” defense. Are you f**king kidding me?! Are these adult executives or 14-year olds who were caught drinking beer in their friend’s basement?

Narcissistic, predatory bullies believe they’re exempt from the rules by which the rest of us abide. They know what they’re doing is wrong; they just don’t care. In terms of psychological development, the narcissistic mentality is that of a 6-year old, which explains the childlike lame excusess they’re using to exonerate themselves from their indefensible behaviors. They’re not sorry for what they did; they’re sorry that they’ve been caught and are being exposed.

feeding-frenzy-sharksThis as an example of a group of abusive, predatory bullies who saw an opportunity to go after financially vulnerable, gullible people who wanted the good life, but no means to attain it. They offered them a risky, “Get-a-House-Quick” scheme and the pigeons wanted to believe everything would work out in the end.

When reality hit the fan, the bankers blamed the victims and then hit the government up for money. The same government who should have been protecting its citizens instead of enabling corporate malfeasance.

The NYT continues:

One defense lawyer said he expected to argue that either his clients did not understand the financial instruments they were marketing, or were not warned of the dangers by underlings. “We’ll all sing the stupidity song,” said the lawyer, who said he feared that speaking publicly by name would deter potential clients. “We’ll all sing the ‘These guys never told me’ song.“

This is financial abuse on a grand scale. These people knew what they were doing. Once one bank made big profits off these practices and got away with it, the rest of the banks followed suit in a predatory feeding frenzy.

The mortgage lenders need to be held accountable for their corrupt practices and the people who fell for their scams need to deal with the consequences of their gullibility and wishful thinking. Every scam is a dance between predator and prey. People who took out the loans were willing victims. Harsh, but true.

Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries or send an email to shrink4men@gmail.com.

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Attorney General Eric J. Holder, Jr. by European Press Photo Agency.

Shark Feeding Frenzy on Animal Pictures Archive.

I Ain’t Saying She’s a Gold Digger: Entitled Wall Street Wives Bail on Their Husbands


Extra! Extra! The Wall Street crisis is having a far greater impact than previously imagined! In addition to taxpayer-funded bailouts, tens of thousands of layoffs of hardworking people, banks600children whose parents have lost health care, mortgage foreclosures and a rising homeless population, there’s another casualty of the financial meltdown: The wives, girlfriends and mistresses of Wall Street bankers, financiers, and traders.

According to the New York Times article, It’s the Economy, Girlfriend: “Once it was seen as a blessing in certain circles to have a wealthy, powerful partner who would leave you alone with the credit card while he was busy brokering deals. Now, many Wall Street wives, girlfriends and, increasingly, exes, are living the curse of cutbacks in nanny hours and reservations at Masa or Megu. And that credit card? Canceled.”

Wow, where do I begin? How about their seemingly gross lack of emotional support for men whom they supposedly love? Instead of helping their husbands and boyfriends, they’ve formed a “support group” where they mourn the loss of their carefree shopping sprees and weekends in the Hamptons. The craziest thing about this gaggle of entitled, shallow women is that they actually take themselves seriously. I’m waiting for their televised charity benefit, “Blahniks for Selfish Chicks.” Maybe Bono will perform?

“They shared their sad stories the other night at an informal gathering of Dating a Banker Anonymous, a support group founded in November to help women cope with the inevitable relationship fallout from, say, the collapse of Lehman Brothers…In addition to meeting once or twice weekly for brunch or drinks at a bar or restaurant, the group has a blog…that invites women to join ‘if your monthly Bergdorf’s allowance has been halved and bottle service has all but disappeared from your life.'”

The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale lists being fired from work, business readjustment, change in financial state, change to different line of work, change in responsibilities at work, and starting a new job in the top 20 highly stressful life events index. Instead of offering understanding and reducing their spending, the women depicted in this NYT articlegold-digger whine about canceled credit cards, their husbands/boyfriends being too distracted to pay attention to them, and cutbacks on dining out and vacations. Cry me a river.

These women blame the economy for their current relationship troubles, and not, oh, I don’t know, their utter lack of empathy and fair weather affections. Yes, their relationships have suffered because of the economic downturn, but you have to ask, did these women really love these men or the lifestyle they afforded them when they were living off the their husband’s/boyfriend’s fat salaries?

Several of their relationships with F.B.F.’s (Financial Guy Boyfriends) have ended. They also attribute this to job stress, failing to take into account their self-centered responses and selfish insistence for more material goods. One woman recounts that her boyfriend told her to “grow up” and stop “complaining about vacations and dinner” since he had to “fire 20 people by the end of the week.” Good for him.

Here’s a thought: If you want more Jimmy Choos and trips to the Caribbean, pay for it with money that you earn and if you can’t, STOP COMPLAINING. It’s easy to be loving when times are high; the real test of a relationship is when the chips and stocks are down. It’s extremely difficult to feel sorry for these women, however, you have to wonder about the kind of men who were attracted to them.

Looks like these guys used the same faulty judgment in their choice of relationships as they did in the financial market: High short-term yield, but worthless when the market crashes. It just goes to show how out of touch some of these Wall Street guys and their entitled, pilot fish girlfriends/wives actually are. I guess they missed Obama’s message of personal responsibility, pitching in and working hard. Can you declare emotional bankruptcy?

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Dr Tara J Palmatier_Shrink4Men_02Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.

Say Goodbye to CrazyWant to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

 

Donations

If you find the information I provide free of charge helpful and valuable here on Shrink4Men, please consider making a donation via PayPal.

Photo credits: Spoiled Women Anonymous on NYT.

Gold digger unknown source.