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My Turn: The right kind of thief?

The right kind of thief?
The right kind of thief?
LTD Associates/Mother Jones

Make crime pay. Become a banker.” ~ Will Rogers

Ah, the American Dream . . . anyone can have anything they want and can be anything they want to be if they work hard and play by the rules!
That is arguably true for most Americans . . . unless you’re a thief . . . the right kind of thief.
The right kind of thief is not the poor schmuck who grabs a purse, burglarizes a home, mugs someone, steals behind a gun, or cons a victim; the right kind of thief is a banker with an MBA from an Ivy League school.
As Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed in a press conference this past Monday to announce a $7 billion fine against Citigroup (about half its 2013 profits) for its role in kicking off the Great Recession, you are welcome to steal millions or billions of dollars and destroy the lives of millions of Americans in the process and never be prosecuted as a criminal . . . so long as you plan and execute your crimes vis-à-vis a keyboard and pen in a high-rise conference room in the corporate headquarters of the bank that employs you.
Not bad, huh?
Who says the American Dream is not alive?
Yeah, the American Dream is alive and kicking big bucks . . . provided you’re the right kind of thief.
Think I’m wrong?
Read on, dear reader.
The slick, fast-talking, sleek, supposedly honorable MBAs who run Citigroup purposefully defrauded thousands of hard-working men and women into rickety mortgage loans and then conned investors into buying those dead-on-arrival loans, also known as ‘mortgage-backed-securities’ for tens of billions of dollars.
The crimes committed by Citigroup con artists drove thousands upon thousands of American families out of their homes and into the streets, devastated untold numbers of businesses, cost the jobs of millions of Americans, led to the near collapse of the world economy, and stole trillions in bailout funds from American taxpayers.
Yet, nearly six years after the 2008 economic collapse, not one of these bankers has been imprisoned, convicted, tried, prosecuted, arrested, or even indicted for their crimes.
Not one!
What do you think would happen if you went into your local Citigroup location and robbed it?
You’d be immediately tracked down by the FBI, arrested, thrown in jail, prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to years behind bars . . . even if you only stole one dollar, much less billions.
Of course.
Because you’d be the wrong kind of thief!
The legal reality in America today is simple: If you're the wrong kind of thief, you go to jail but if you’re the right kind of thief, you don’t.
In light of this reality, perhaps we should encourage our children to attend the best universities, get MBAs, get jobs in ‘too-big-to-fail’ banks like Citigroup, and steal to their hearts' content.
Why not?
The precedent, after all, has been set by no less than the Attorney General of the United States of America.
Hasn’t it?

Comments? Questions? Contact the author at: or Tweet: @DavyZJones

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