Matt Taibbi: Bush I and Bush II tougher on corporate crime than Obama

April 17, 2014 | By | Reply More

TPM reports on Taibbi’s latest book, “The Divide,” which explains that America’s wealth gap has created injustice throughout the country’s judicial system.

AMY GOODMAN: Who was tougher on corporate America, President Obama or President Bush?
MATT TAIBBI: Oh, Bush, hands down. And this is an important point to make, because if you go back to the early 2000s, think about all these high-profile cases: Adelphia, Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen. All of these companies were swept up by the Bush Justice Department. And what’s interesting about this is that you can see a progression. If you go back to the savings and loan crisis in the late ’80s, which was an enormous fraud problem, but it paled in comparison to the subprime mortgage crisis, we put about 800 people in jail during—in the aftermath of that crisis. You fast-forward 10 or 15 years to the accounting scandals, like Enron and Adelphia and Tyco, we went after the heads of some of those companies. It wasn’t as vigorous as the S&L prosecutions, but we at least did it. At least George Bush recognized the symbolic importance of showing ordinary Americans that justice is blind, right?

Fast-forward again to the next big crisis, and how many people have we got—have we actually put in jail? Zero. And this was a crisis that was much huger in scope than the S&L crisis or the accounting crisis. I mean, it wiped out 40 percent of the world’s wealth, and nobody went to jail, so that we’re now in a place where we don’t even recognize the importance of keeping up appearances when it comes to making things look equal.

An anti-poor person attitude permeates courtrooms: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/16/matt-taibbi-the-divide_n_5159626.html

“If a poor person without means comes into a court room, the judge doesn’t want to hear anything that the defense attorney has to say for that person,” he explained.

“Whereas when I went to watch these white-collar cases,” Taibbi continued, “there’s almost an admiration that you see when the judges talk to the lawyers of the white-collar defendants.”

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Category: Corporatocracy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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