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Hedge Fund SAC Capital Charged With Fraud

Criminal charges against a big hedge fund and a tougher new posture in Washington on Wall Street.

In this courtroom sketch by Elizabeth Williams, Attorney Marty Klotz, left, General Council for SAC Capital Advisors LP, Peter Nussbaum, center, attorney Ted Wells, right, and assistant US attorney Arlo Devlin Brown, foreground, appear before judge Laura Taylor Swain, Friday, July 26, 2013, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams/AP)

In this courtroom sketch by Elizabeth Williams, Attorney Marty Klotz, left, General Council for SAC Capital Advisors LP, Peter Nussbaum, center, attorney Ted Wells, right, and assistant US attorney Arlo Devlin Brown, foreground, appear before judge Laura Taylor Swain, Friday, July 26, 2013, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams/AP)

Mega hedge fund trader Steven Cohen was partying bigtime in the Hamptons this weekend. And his personal fortune is pegged at $9 billion, so don’t get too weepy too quickly for the man. But Cohen’s hedge fund, SAC Capital, is in big trouble today.

Facing a slew of federal indictments for insider trading. In the biz, Cohen is seen a little like the Yankee’s A-Rod. Maybe he wasn’t cheating, maybe he cheated a little, maybe he cheated the whole time. And the feds? Are they really getting tougher? Or is this their “Mission Accomplished” banner?

This hour On Point: big indictments, and is this “getting tough” on Wall Street?

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ben Protess, business reporter for The New York Times, former Huffington Post investigative fund reporter.

Gregory Zuckerman, reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering money and investing. Author of “The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-The-Scenes Story Of How John Paulson Defies Wall Street And Made Financial History.” (@GZuckerman)

Jonathan Weil, columnist for Bloomberg News, former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, winner of the American Business Editors and Writers’ Best in Business Journalism Award in 2009 and 2010. (@JonathanWeil)

From Tom’s Reading List

Bloomberg: Cases Against Steven Cohen, SAC Won’t Be a Slam Dunk: “Keep this in mind when it comes to the latest allegations against Steven A. Cohen and his hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors LP: There are few easy wins for the government in high-profile trials of white-collar defendants.”

The New York Times: SAC Capital Is Arraigned On A Raft Of Criminal Charges: “In a brief proceeding in Federal District Court in Lower Manhattan, the hedge fund was arraigned on a raft of criminal insider trading charges, making it the first large American company to face an indictment in more than a decade. The appearance came a day after prosecutors announced the case against SAC, run by the billionaire Steven A. Cohen, calling it a ‘veritable magnet of market cheaters.’”

NPR: Hedge Fund SAC Capital Pleads Not Guilty To Fraud Charges: “Assistant U.S. Attorney Antonia Apps told a federal judge in Manhattan that ‘voluminous’ evidence, including “electronic messages, instant messages, court-ordered wiretaps and consensual recordings” existed to prove that SAC Capital knowingly participated in insider trading over a 10-year period.”

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  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Yet still no charges brought in the greatest financial fraud in history that brought the world to the edge of financial collapse. Where is the outrage in congress???

  • Shag_Wevera

    Tough new posture, ey?  I doubt it.

  • alsordi

    Insider trading ?  

    Between NSA, CIA and Booze Allan Hamilton etc., and Israeli contractors,  there are over 100,000 people in the USA whose noble profession is eavesdropping on communications around the world. Do you think any of those snoops might come across stock tips that they pass on to their cousins?    You can bet they do.

    • Yar

      This would make a great screen play or novel!  Of course the CIA will buy up all the copies and we will never get to see it.

  • John Cedar

    Who characterizes enforcing insider trading laws as a “tough posture”? We put Martha and Milken in prison didn’t we?

    The financial sector is still one of the largest contributors to US GDP compared to decades past. It is still legal for banks to charge any interest rate they want to on credit cards. This is after “credit card reform”.

    But the fact that they claim to have 10 years of texts and phone calls evidence  sounds like Snowden was not exaggerating.

    • Yar

      I am not so sure about GDP, but the Financial sector is a major contributor to both the GOP and DNC. Would that be called a hedge? To expect that those investments are purely ideological and not buying influence is just plain stupid.  Why does our democratic republic allow such ‘contributions’ (or investments)?  Why do we allow our elected leaders to trade stock or invest in the market while they are in office?  Our problems are much bigger than a few bad actors.  How can virtual money be a product?

    • Don_B1

      Around 1980 the financial sector was responsible for a bit over 10% of the corporate profit in the U.S. As recently as 2007 it had climbed to well over 30%.

      The financial sector profit goes primarily to upper income individuals and this growth in income, particularly since the Great Recession (2007-2009), has aggravated the growing economic inequality in this country.

      There are other economists posting on inequality, but this one from Jared Bernstein seems relevant:

      http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/growth-and-inequality-thinking-about-the-middle-out-hypothesis/

  • TomK_in_Boston

    The financial sector is a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization. It caused the Bush crash of 2008 and the trainwreck we’ve been ever since. Anything that stands up to it is good. However, going after SAC while leaving the mainstream RICOs like Goldman alone is not the best approach.

  • PeterBoyle

    SAC had little or nothing to do with the Major Crimes that caused the Crash.  When Jamie Dimon and the others are on trial I’ll applaud the ‘tough new stance’.  Tries, Convicted and stripped of their wealth is too good for those who crashed our economy, and the world’s economy.  

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Right. The real RICOs are the “mainstream” IB. And why aren’t they prosecuted under RICO?

      An easy step to calm down the casino wd be a financial transactions tax. You might think the “deficit hawks” wd love that, but somehow they hate it. Gee, I wonder why :)

  • hennorama

    I’ll believe this is “getting tough on Wall Street” when I see some big players going to jail, and firms being put out of business rather than simply paying a fine as part of the cost of doing business.

    Jail time for the humans involved and a corporate death penalty for the entities involved are really the only way to prevent this from recurring.The Justice Dept. routinely negotiates “deferred prosecution agreements” in lieu of possible jail time for offenders, which significantly contributes to public apathy and cynicism.  Most people who hear about these outrageous acts think to themselves “well at least someone’s going to jail…” and are confounded to no end when prosecutors allow these entities to go on with their business after simply paying a fine, implementing corporate reforms, and “fully cooperating” with the investigation.

    These agreements generally do NOT count as part of a criminal history if there was no finding of guilt by a court and the defendant did not plead guilty or otherwise admit guilt in open court.

    Corporations simply consider these fines, forfeitures and legal costs as part of the costs of doing business.  The vast profits generated by these firms and individuals allows them to purchase influence, and virtually guarantees that true reform will not occur.  Any reforms in place will be relentlessly attacked, watered down, and eroded behind the scenes by lobbyists, and modified or repealed by future legistative actions of politicians purchased by “The Street.”

  • Yar

    How did Mitch McConnell become rich while holding public office for 30 years?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BHcRdMxG6o&feature=share 

    • alsordi

      Mitch McConnell is one devious looking dude.   I could easily imagine that beady-eyed freak pressing the button for a nuclear launch. 

      • margbi

        I always thought he looked like the prickly accounting teacher you hated.

    • sickofthechit

       Up until very recently congressman were allowed a lot of leeway when it came to what the rest of us would consider trading on insider info.  I went through McConnells financial filings a while back and he is worth a minimum of $9,000,000.00 and as much as $35,000,000.00.  The reporting is not very specific and instead uses ranges of value for different assets.  My 9 to 35 million dollar estimate is based on minimum/maximum for each of the account types he has check-marked on the report.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Patrick-Dwyer-Jr/100002088204784 James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    In the end, there will be a fine paid which is considered just as a cost of doing business, and things will resume as normal. When we start putting people in prison and stripping them of their ill gotten wealth things will slowly start to improve, but that’s not going to happen. 

    • Doubting_Thomas12

      And the fine will, as always, be around half of the profits from the fraud in the first place.

  • Yar

    Any stock held less than 1 year should be treated as gambling not as investing, profits should be taxed at half the gains and losses should not allowed to be deducted from gains.  Then it will be easy to see who is truly doing insider trading.  We already know who is doing insider trading: it is the ten year old kids of rich investors. Boy, are they smart!  Like father, like son.

  • johnmulligan

    Gregory and Jonathan are throwing up a lot of chaff here. I don’t think there’s any question that going to an industry conference is legal for hedge fund managers. But that’s worlds away from getting info from friend and family networks. Maybe we could ease up with the series of rhetorical questions, and instead just give a breakdown of insider trading laws–unless nobody on the program is actually qualified to have that kind of a discussion…

  • Rollo Williams

     Three [s]Wall Street apologists[/s] panelists from financial publications.  They can’t see the forest for the trees.  “This case will be tough to prosecute…” “I’m not defending insider trading, BUT…”  “This isn’t a slam dunk by any means…”  blah blah blah Sounds like the run up to the O.J. Simpson murder trial. 

    A couple of weeks from now this will all fade away and none of the principle actors will go to jail which is where they belong.  I’ll bet anybody $10 cash money that’s what will happen.  Maybe the hedge fund will take my bet?

    Christ, I need to take a shower after listening to this garbage.

    • Yar

      They would also like to sell you a forest.  The system is really broken.

    • stephenreal

      I’ll take that bet that Steve Cohen serves zero time.

      • StilllHere

        Steve Cohen is not charged so you’re probably right.

        • Ray in VT

          That’s probably news to Steve Cohen and the SEC.

  • Yar

    Do a statistical analysis on the emails.  How often did he reply to emails from the individual who sent him inside information?  

  • stephenreal

    Steve Cohen better not turn into another Michael Milkin charity case were he barely served anytime in prison for millions not billions stolen.

    shameful

  • scrabble12

    SAC is being prosecuted because it’s rich people who have been defrauded.  When regular people were defrauded by the banks etc… back in 08 the solution was not to prosecute these players but instead take more of their money and bail them out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Rice/100000693874282 Joseph Rice

    I have long given up hope that there will be any significant reform. Considering that since the days of the “robber barons” (if not before), access to information not available generally has been a key part to fortune building (not to mention, collusion, cartels, etc.). So at this point, I would be willing to let all regulation fall by the wayside, with the proviso that any investment prospectus or financial institution advertising state at the top that “this is a private party we will be using your funds for”. It would at least be less humiliating than feeding the line to the public that “this money is what is building America’s land of opportunity”.

    • tbphkm33

      I agree, it is a facade built to hide a house of cards.  Manipulated and dressed up as critical to the nations economy.  The simple truth is that national economies and the global economy would be more resilient if a higher percentage of capital was invested locally than syphoned off by stock markets.  It is a fallacy that everyone investing in stocks and propping up multi-national corporations is a good thing for society. 

    • Don_B1

      I understand the cynicism, etc. and you may be correct about the ultimate result of the current direction of the political process.

      But it has taken some 30 years to get this bad and it will take some time to reverse course.

      One necessary change will have to be in the election process, which is driven by the way political campaigns are financed. Professor Lawrence Lessig of Harvard has been working on a Constitutional Amendment to provide public financing of elections.

      It will not be pretty and the wait for enough of the electorate to come to grips with the changes needed may be too long to avoid huge climatic changes that will burden the following generations as far beyond what we can imagine.

      As the damage that the current Congress, driven by Tea/Republican ignorance from blind ideology becomes apparent, there will be a revolt of some sort.

      What is important now is to make sure that a grounding of knowledge about what has gone wrong is established, so that those leading or who arise from the workings of the revolt make more knowledgeable decisions, like the Founding Fathers did back in the late 1700s, and not make a power grab, the way the plutocrats did when the initial Tea Parties appeared. Those initial members of the Tea Parties were conservatives but they might not have become so intransigent without the influence of the Koch Industries funded Americans for Prosperity, etc.

  • Michiganjf

    For every winner on Wall Street, there are losers.

    • stephenreal

      Steve Cohen is a thief plain and simple.

    • Doubting_Thomas12

      Problem is, when the losers are us, and we’re not even ON wall street. When we make little to none of the profit, yet bear most to all of the losses… how is that even capitalism anymore?

  • Yar

    The caller John hit the nail on the head.  The guests won’t even respond.  

    • Rollo Williams

      LOL I felt the same thing.  That guy John was spot on, and he brought the fire and brimstone!  No camels through the eye of a needle!  

    • hennorama

      Yar – “caller John” was speaking of morality.

      In general, Business/Capitalism (“The Big C”) is neither moral or immoral – it’s amoral.

      It’s about what’s legal and what’s illegal rather than what’s moral or immoral.

      He was quite entertaining, though.

      • Yar

        Your response is much better than that of the guests.  Do markets require morality for stability?  If greed is good, and no one has morals we end up with only one lobster in the tank.  Isn’t the purpose of regulation to enforce morality? It is defined as fairness, but not taking advantage of position is ultimately a moral decision.  The largest lobster in the tank still gets boiled.

      • Don_B1

        And that is probably for the best. Law should reflect basic ethics but when morality enters, particularly that inspired by aspects found in every religion, there are distortions introduced based on discrimination inherent in those aspects of morality.

        It is similar to economics, which as Paul Krugman repeats from time to time, is not a morality play. When economic policies are chosen to “punish people for bad economic decisions” the result is usually the equivalent of cutting off one’s nose to punish the face.

      • Doubting_Thomas12

        Interesting angle. I would agree, but only to a certain extent. Otherwise it gets into the “all’s fair in love and war” sentiment. Only the licentious and duplicitous, the sociopathic and the egomaniacal, would wholeheartedly agree.

        My only response then would be, “do you really want to fight a war?” You might see something you don’t like.

        We’ll see the results decades down the road, for good or ill. History has a way of “fixing” itself, but the processes to do so are never clean or pretty. They still work pretty well though.

    • TheDailyBuzzherd

      For those looking for entertainment, skip to 39:30. Yes! Tom Ashbrook appreciates edgy radio.

      Much of this egregious behavior calls to mind what was explored on other shows here and elsewhere:

      http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/04/10/capitalism

      http://www.npr.org/2012/05/01/151764534/psychology-of-fraud-why-good-people-do-bad-things

      http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/05/21/george-packer-unwinding

      If I recall correctly, it was on the Packer program in which he or another proffered a simple theory as to how we got here, the erosion of ethics explained:

      At a certain point, the unthinkable was rationalized. It’s OK to do this, because everyone else will do it if I don’t.

      That’s The Banker Rationale.

      What would have been better is if those bankers nipped things in the bud and called out the cheaters and abusers.

      I call that The Snowden Rationale.

  • ToyYoda

    I worked as a consultant in the hedge fund industry, and there is a clearly things that are insider trading, but beyond that, the grey area is vast.  

    If prosecuting insider trading is designed to level the playing field between hedge funds and the individual investors, then I think that purpose is good but unrealistic.

    Large financial institutes have an army of analysts that work full time on analyzing the books of companies, and industries.  They have supercomputers to do statistical analyst on all sorts of things even linguistic analysis of company reports.  They have former CIA agents that can interview CEOs for lying.  (I have a friend who does this.).  They have enough clout to demand an interview with any senior staff member of any company they choose at any time.

    There really is no way that for the small investor to compete even if all insider trading can be prevented.  To me, unless it’s egregious, I don’t think its the worse crime on Wall Street.  There are a few things that I would put before insider trading: High frequency trading, market manipulation, and shady accounting practices.

    As far as the small investor is concerned, there’s a few clear advantages that no large institute has.  We have much smaller accounts, so we can get in and out of positions quite easily.  And further more, we don’t have numbers to meet, so we can afford to patient when investing.  Learn to value invest and add a margin of safety, and you won’t have to worry about insider trading, or market manipulations.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Very good comment !

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        Agreed!

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      What do you think about parking your money in an index fund and letting it sit?  I don’t know how much I’m paying my broker, his firm (Raymond James), their brokers, their advertisers, actuaries, lawyers, CEO’s, etc etc- but when I have to hit him over the head to move my portfolio where it should have been two months ago I don’t think I’m getting my money’s worth!  No insider information for me…which would be nice actually…come to think of it.

  • stephenreal

    Steve Cohen needs a serious physical beat down. A straight up punch in the face. Some people need a hug while others need to be dismantled piece by piece and served on a platter.

  • alsordi

    Only 27 comments during this particular show ??

    Its quite humorous to see how sheepish the major demographics of NPR listeners are regarding certain subjects… particularly those issues that makes many pseudo-liberal listeners squirm with guilt. 

    Not to worry…there will be other OnPoint shows on such detached subjects as global warming and gay marriage that will get the guilty sheep posting again. 

    • hennorama

      alsordi – speaking as one who is neither guilty nor pseudo-liberal – your thoughtful and non-judgmental comments are welcome.

      Thank you for adding to the collective knowledge and well-being of the community.  I look forward to further wisdom and insights under your moniker.

      Well done.

    • anamaria23

      I may be a “pseudo-liberal”, whatever that is, however it is ignorance of the workings of the financial sector that keeps me from  commenting, to the point that   I have no clue what I should feel guilty about.  I even missed the “humorous” part.

      I log onto  NPR very occasionally to become enlightened by some very informed and serious posters.

      Because of degrading comments such as yours on this site,  I tend to find other sources of discourse most days.

      • Doubting_Thomas12

        To be fair… there’s no excuse for not arming yourself with knowledge nowadays. It’s the only weapon we have against those who would see our home burnt down just so they could carry off the insurance money. Without checking if our kids were inside or not before they started the electrical fire.

        No need to feel guilt. Just start reading, researching and learning. They say that knowledge is power, and I’ve yet to find a battleground of any kind where it isn’t true.

    • http://www.facebook.com/RoberteKelly Robert Kelly

      Spot on is right, sir! The corrupt wheels of Capitalism work well for many pseudo-liberals (suburban and hipster urban “values” voters: kinda like right-wing, Christian “values” voters but on the left of the tolerance scale.) I also think, too, this problem has become so large and endemic (too big to fail, anyone?) that “talking about it” is simply pointless (no pun intended). For instance, you can talk about gay marriage, rally the troops, apply pressure and see some results. Not so with unregulated capitalism. We have one Senator–Elizabeth Warren–who comes the closest we have to fighting against the system–and she is ostensibly laughed at by ‘those in the know”. Bernie Sanders is in their doing the good fight, but he’s been typified as an old socialist crank. These “greed-is-good” people are criminals who should be strung up. Period. End of story. 

      http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/02/banking-analyst-elizabeth-warrens-preposterous-grandstanding/

      • anamaria23

        What is a “pseudo-liberal”?  Please explain and how
        do such “suburban and urban values  voters ”  oil the “corrupt wheels of Capitalism”?   

        • http://www.facebook.com/RoberteKelly Robert Kelly

          Capitalism and it’s evils cut across race, gender, religion–really all groups. Yes, it’s a reduction. Suburban liberals tend to disregard this and want to treat all groups as “special” . In the tentacles of unregulated capitalism, no “group” is special or safe (except for those in the 1%). It’s why the left can’t win in the long run as they don’t rally around one idea: the class war. No, for most American “liberals”, it’s all just a post-modern patchwork of feel-good, rainbow bullsh*t. Your “sensitive” reaction to my “degrading” comments simply underlines my point that most “liberals” are more interested in “being nice” and “sensitive” and “inclusive” than actually understanding that there is a real class WAR going on here.   

          • jefe68

            So Jonh Reed, what kind of class war are you envisioning? Shades of Emma Goldman perhaps? 

            The nation is is leaning towards the center right but the reality is we are plutocracy. 

          • TomK_in_Boston

            In the corporate media, class warfare is noticing that you are being attacked in a class WAR.

        • alsordi

           Ciao AnaMaria, 
          FYI   “pseudo-liberals” like to get all warm and fuzzy over light issues like gay marriage, while ignoring the serious issues like insider trading, wall street bail outs,  two trillion dollar wars,  militarized police, government intrusion of privacy, millions killed by US wars and sanctions, occupied Palestine,  USA arming al qaeda in Syria, Federal Reserve money printing etc etc.

          • RobertLongView

            pseudo-liberal, you mean like Jesus Christ Superstar? — just what would HE do?  does he ride with angels fighting for what’s right?  

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      ~If you’re going to comment…try, why don’t you to… oh…never mind.

  • PeterBoyle

    Tom allowed the guests to duck the questions John put up.  Not only can’t the SEC hold anyone’s feet to the fire, but it seems that neither can Tom Ashbrook.  Today’s ‘Capitalism’ is not the Capitalism of Adam Smith.  Capitalism has been turned into a vehicle for greed, and our government, since Reagan first installed “Supply Side” and deregulation, has been a willing participant because those crooks filled the campaign coffers with looted money.   Glass – Stegal fixed the problems that caused the Crash of ’29 and shepherded us through, along with Keynesian economics, the greatest growth in world history.  All that ended with Reagan, Supply Side, Free Trade deals, deregulation and cutting funding for all oversight (the SEC was cut to 3 investigators for the whole Stock Market).  It is not just Wall Street that is robbing Americans, it is also Big Agra, and the Petroleum Industry.  We need a general re-think on how to control what goes on in this country.  Is this country for the top 10% or for the majority of Americans?  We have had Corporate Welfare for 30 years, it’s time to stop the insanity.

  • Rollo Williams

    “There really is no way that for the small investor to compete even if all insider trading can be prevented.  To me, unless it’s egregious, I don’t think its the worse crime on Wall Street.  There are a few things that I would put before insider trading: High frequency trading, market manipulation, and shady accounting practices.”

    Right.  And the number of prosecutions and convictions for those “worse” crimes is what again?  

  • wauch

    Cohen et al are criminals and literally no difference between them and drug dealers or anyone else that preys on the weaknesses of folks. SAC’s arrogance is amazing and deserving of a serious inquiry with the very least being the end of his firm.

    • Doubting_Thomas12

      There is- they don’t get their hands dirty. They’re more like the mid-level and top-level mafiosos, not the psycopaths on the ground. They’re closer to the sophisticated sociopathic megalomaniacs, pulling all the strings from behind the scenes.

  • tbphkm33

    How does any hedge fund make one individual $9 billion without some level of insider activity???  It is the crony capitalism that is killing the U.S.  

    I am a champion of small- and medium-size U.S. manufacturing, making some of the highest quality products available.  Increase exporting by these companies and you go a long way toward putting the U.S. on a more sustainable longterm economic path.  Yet, when foreign clients ask me about establishing manufacturing or assembly in the U.S, I advice them going to Canada or even Mexico.  On a pure business perspective, don’t invest in a country with high levels of cronyism.  Mexico might not be ideal, but at least they do not sugar coat what they are.  

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    … the soft bigotry of few bankster prosecutions.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Nothing will change till the big IB are charged criminally. I’m not a lawyer but I’ve read enough mafia books to recognize that the IB exhibit the “patterns of corruption” designed to be targeted by RICO. Why no RICO actions?

    The latest: “U.S. accuses JPMorgan of manipulating California energy market”

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ferc-jpmorgan-20130730,0,1774034.story

    and what are we looking at “…The prospect of a multimillion-dollar settlement with no admission of wrongdoing”!

    Time for the pitchforks and torches yet?

    • Doubting_Thomas12

      The FBI kept trying to, but during the Bush administration, every time they got close to someone too well connected, the agents in charge were either reassigned, promoted off the case, or in a few very rare cases, hired away by the very crooks they were investigating. Less and less funding allocated for financial crime, and fewer and fewer resources.

      Reagan went all out during the S&L crisis; under his administration more than one thousand thousand agents were assigned to the group of cases, putting thousands of criminals from the financial industry behind bars where they belong.

      Good thing Obama’s doing a lot better than Bush, right? Instead of slowing the gravy train down to a small stream, and letting more out whenever he hears enough complaints from goldman sachs. Because that would be just plain sad. There seems to be nothing we can do but bend over the barrel and wait for our life savings to be stolen from us, because for some reason we refuse to unite against some clearly obvious common enemies. No government that betrays capitalism as badly as ours has since 2007 is really our friend, but completely ignoring the perpetrators of the crisis while trying to demolish the enablers sort of misses the point, while the real criminals continue to rob us blind. Case and point: drink something out of a can over the past few years?

      RICO was what they were going for, and they almost got it, only to have it pulled from their fingertips at the last moment.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Thanks for the interesting reply. You are absolutely right that Reagan’s response to the S&L dwarfs the response of the recent chain of conservadems and republicans to even worse abuses.

  • sickofthechit

    I miss the days when we could tar and feather scoundrels like this.  charles a. bowsher

    • Ray in VT

      and then you ride them out of town on a rail.

  • ExcellentNews

    Tom should have pointed out WHY insider trading is a crime. It is not a matter of “playing fair”. The trading game on the stock market is zero-sum. When someone trades based on privileged information, the counterpart of that trade LOSES money on average. Cohen’s billions come from YOUR IRA – not from his “hard work”.

    In fact, the top layer of our financial industry has turned into a semi-criminal enterprise that is in bed with Washington and the global Fortune 500. They make money not by improving our lives, but by getting together to create a system for robbing wealth out of the middle class (e.g. lend money at predatory rates to buy stuff made with offshored US technology and jobs).

    What can you DO about it? Step 1: Throw the Republican bums and shills out of Congress. They have been blocking ANY reform or prosecution. Step 2: If Obama and his Democrat pals do not implement reform and CLAWBACKS, throw them out too. If these steps fail, maybe it’s time for tar and feathers…

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Our Week In The Web: July 11, 2014
Friday, Jul 11, 2014

As we prepare for a week of rebroadcasts, we reflect on Facebook posts, misplaced comments and the magic of @ mentions. Internet, ASSEMBLE!

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Two Former Senators, One Fix For US Democracy?
Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

Former US Senators Tom Daschle and Olympia Snowe joined us today with a few fixes for American political inaction.

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Future Radio Interns Of America: On Point Wants YOU!
Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

On Point needs interns for the fall. Could YOU be one of them?

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