Financial Fraud in America. Wall Street: The Next Big Fight

Published on Global Research.ca, by Danny Schechter, March 25, 2010.

In Britain, the police are raiding Hedge Funds to bust insider traders. In America, the Hedge Funds are still raiding us, even as public opinion calls for a crackdown on Wall Street. One recent poll, in a nation that seems so divided on everything, showed 82% for aggressive action. 82%!

A new Bloomberg survey says the public wants the government to punish  the financial fraudsters. “57 percent of Americans have a mostly unfavorable or very unfavorable view of Wall Street, versus fewer than one-quarter who have a favorable opinion. Banks are viewed badly by 54 percent of poll respondents, and 60 percent have a negative opinion of insurance companies.”

In a sense, reformers have won the fight of public opinion, but the financial reform battle promises to be even tougher than the health care fight.

Why? … //

… Our fearless media is also downplaying this diaster because they don’t have a first class, high profile villain like Bernie Madoff to use to personalize the problem.

In other words, it’s shady business as usual with more businesses going out of business. And alongside this failure is a growing meltdown for what used to be the middle class and working class.

Quite reasonably, the public is becoming angrier because jobs are not coming back. And quiet as it is kept, they may not be coming back.

Writes Mark Zandi, “The job losses over the past three years have been across a wide range of industries and from coast to coast. And if you’ve lost your job, in all likelihood you will remain unemployed for longer than in any period since the Great Depression.”

Explains Eric Janzen of iTulip.com, “The cumulative and lasting damage caused by two consecutive, predictable and thus preventable asset bubbles is starting to dawn on their victims. Some call it the “new normal.” Millions of Americans have not recovered the income or job status they enjoyed a decade ago.’

This is not an abstraction. Just this morning, a man hustled me for a quarter as I was leaving the subway. As I reached into my pocket, he had a change of mind. “Forget it man,” he said. “I don’t need no quarter. I need a job.” It was as if he was talking to himself.

No Jobs, seething unrest and a slo-go approach to reform are a toxic mix. I feel like a broken record hoping  growing outrage will finally turn into action. People feel robbed because they are being robbed. They are losing jobs, homes and hope. Many are beaten down but others are slowly rising up.

It’s one thing to feel good fulminating against a love affair with Capitalism. It’s another to realize that’s all we got, and so we  must, once again, try to drive the corrupt money changers and banksters out of the system

For progressives who protested on health care, isn’t it time to engage the real pain in our economy? Has ignoring the crime of our time also become “the new normal?” (full text).

(News Dissector Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org. His new film Plunder The Crime Of Our Time (Plunderthecrimeofourtime.com) is out next month on DVD from Disinfo. Comments by e-mail.
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