Murder by Proxy

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Headless's picture
Headless
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Murder by Proxy

Karl Denninger gives Obama a little advice regarding the "First Hundred Days"; for example,

"Immediately investigate Hank Paulson, focusing on his 2000 and 2004 "requests" to remove leverage limits and his firm shorting the bonds they were selling to investors,,,

"Each and every individual and firm involved in the blatant, rampant fraud that allowed the housing and mortgage bubble to occur needs to be prosecuted.  No exceptions.  Since this will involve locking up tens of thousands of people, including mortgage brokers, realtors, appraisers and bankers, and we seem to be a bit short on jail space, I recommend commuting the sentences of and releasing all non-violent "consensual adult" drug offenders.  That should create plenty of room for the new inmates."

http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/701-To-Obama-Your-First-100-Days.html

I would add one consequence to Karl's Wonderful World of Whoop Ass; that being:

Murder by Proxy: Any defendant who participated in and is found guilty of any financial fraud which is found to have contributed to a disturbed state of mind which resulted in violent actions being perpetrated by the victim of said financial fraud upon self or any other person, shall be held liable for the ultimate results of such violent acts. For example, if a person has suffered a loss (job or investments) that led to a state of despair and hopelessness such that, ultimately, he or she committed suicide or slaughtered his or her extended family at a Christmas party, for example, the perp that inflicted the financial fraud upon the originally innocent victim shall be charged with Murder by Proxy, not to be confused with Negligent Homicide, which does not allow the appropriate punishment; that is to say, "capital" crime, capital punishment!

If this sounds nuts, you're not paying attention to the real damage these lesser humans are really causing! Tonight, while you are reading this, some few of our American brothers and sisters will kill themselves or someone else because his or her future has been stolen by a thief on Wall Street.

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Re: Murder by Proxy

This is silly nonsense.  First of all, the president has no authority to commute the sentence of anybody unless they are serving time in a federal prison.  Commuting the sentences of everybody serving time for "consensual drug offenses" would require the cooperation of the governors of the several states.  I bring this up only because it is an important part of the system of checks and balances between federal and state authority.

Second, murder is prosecuted by state authorities.  The President wouldn't have anything to do with it.  To give the federal government power to prosecute for common murders would be a dangerous and unconstitutional transfer of power to the central government.

Third, I would not want to live in a world where the president himself can dream up new crimes, such as "murder by proxy for bankers," and then start sentencing people to death by firing squad without proving such things as "criminal intent."  As much satisfaction as it might give you to see such boundless and draconian authority exercised briefly against the bankers and mortgage brokers, it wouldn't be long before such capricious authority would be turned against the people.

In the words of James Madison, "Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.  Grant no power to government that you would not wish your worst enemies to wield against you."

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Re: Murder by Proxy
jrf29 wrote:

 To give the federal government power to prosecute for common murders would be a dangerous and unconstitutional transfer of power to the central government.

There have been so many unconstitutional acts recently that I can't keep track.  What is one more?

Apparently, our government does not need to be "granted" anything.  They seem to take what they want.

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Re: Murder by Proxy

jrf29 said:

"This is silly nonsense.  First of all, the president has no authority...it is an important part of the system of checks and balances between federal and state authority... dangerous and unconstitutional transfer of power to the central government... I would not want to live in a world where the president himself can dream up new crimes, such as "murder by proxy for bankers..."

jrf29,

You also called such a proposal "draconian."  That, "draconian," and "silly" are the two words that you leave me with...

How about a country where you are condemned to poverty by working hard and saving harder your whole life?

How about a country that allows companies to "go public" by selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock, though those "companies" have neither a product, a profit, nor a predictable path to profitablility? Poof!

How about a country where a credit card company can charge you 39% if you're late on a payment?

How about a country that can send your son or daughter to fight and be killed or maimed in a pre-emptive war?

How about a country where as you save X% each month toward the down payment on a house, the required down payment increases 2X% due to policies that are implemented by a private for-profit arm of your government? (I say this in regards to those who held themselves to a standard though no one else would--during the inflating of the bubble. They are out there; they are now angry.)

How about a country where a single CEO's yearly take is more than all the Senators, Congressman, and Governors of the states combined?

How about a country where the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, in his last year of employment, made more than all the soldiers fighting in Afghanistan?

How about a country where "the money that is spent each day [on the war in Iraq] could pay to put 39,904 students through four years at a state college"? 

Draconian? Silly? As I have no plan to perpetrate financial fraud against the Great People that, for the time being, are the only redeeming remnant of what once was, I'll take my chances with such "draconian" measures as actually holding someone responsible for the true results of their actions. To do otherwise is just another case of failing to account for the true cost(the "externalities"), which is and has been the primary defining characteristic of American corporatism for the last 100 years.

Of course, I can see how a person would be opposed to a fair accounting if he or she were one of those who has been a part of the  Murder by Proxy of the American Family...

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Re: Murder by Proxy
jrf29 wrote:

This is silly nonsense.  First of all, the president has no authority to commute the sentence of anybody unless they are serving time in a federal prison.  Commuting the sentences of everybody serving time for "consensual drug offenses" would require the cooperation of the governors of the several states.  I bring this up only because it is an important part of the system of checks and balances between federal and state authority.

Second, murder is prosecuted by state authorities.  The President wouldn't have anything to do with it.  To give the federal government power to prosecute for common murders would be a dangerous and unconstitutional transfer of power to the central government.

jrf29,

The proposal would not only be appropriate but would be extremely easy to accomplish. Simply require the states to prosecute the offenders as a requirement of receiving any of the bailout or subsidy monies heading there way.

Coop

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Re: Murder by Proxy

I wrote up a two page word document in response, but I won't be posting it - I want to try to keep things concise, and unemotional. 

 

Really, no agreement with jrf29? That is very scary. This "murder by proxy" brings to mind a rather horrible part of history, the Reign of Terror. 

Nonzeroone, what you said in response to jrf29 makes absolutely no sense. 

"The two word you leave me with are draconian and silly..." (paraphrased)

Actually, he leaves you with 224 words. You decide to ignore 222 of them, to do exactly what the media does, exactly what ideologues whose only basis is raw emotion and vengeful charisma to accomplish their goals. You draw out two words, and then proceed to show that the country is already draconian and silly. Does that justify a draconian and silly response? Absolutely not! Really, you're going to take the government that has the power to send kids to war, where the government spends all that money on Iraq, and now give them even more power to kill? 

That aside,  I'd liketo offer my opinion that this is one of those threads that:

a) Contributes nothing to the dialogue here (even if that were a brilliant idea, who would argue that that ought to be the central tenant of the Course?)

b) Can be considered anywhere from rude to extremely offensive to many individuals

c) Has the potential to blow up into an emotionally heated debate that would turn many people off from the site

d) And most importantly is in no appropriate way related to the 3 Es

Personally, I would take no issue with a moderator pulling this thread completely...

Chris says as his third point that we need "non status quo solutions" to these problems. I'd say lashing out in blind violence is a rather status quo solution, that wouldn't even solve the problem[s]. Such a suggestion clearly shows naivete with regard to the Constitution, the efficacy (or lack thereof) of the death penalty, the justifications for punishment (namely deterrence, retribution, rehabilitation, or incapacitation), the prosecution of murder, and the "goodness" of the government. You also display less than an elementary understanding of suicide. This is one of those unprincipled "policies" suggested by someone who just wants to get people riled up to action, without actually considering what they're doing.

I sympathize with your concern. I don't know if you heard about this, but i'm close friends with that man's niece. I feel the crisis, and I know those who have committed suicide because of it. That being said, I strongly disagree with you. Shouldn't we also hold college professors responsible, for it is they who teach all these professionals to do these jobs? And then the universities for allowing such classes and majors to exist? And how about all the donors to said universities? You know, I think anyone who invests should also be prosecuted, because those people support the institutions that give these people the money to continue their horribleness. In fact, we should prosecute the whole country for being lazy and complacent, and fostering an environment that lets this happen. Look at your logic. You're just taking someone many despise, and coming up with a justification to kill them. That, or you actually care about those being hurt, and don't know how to go about preventing suicide. Whether it's ignorance or malintent, I must respectfully disagree. I share your concern for this issue, but really, killing tens of thousands of people is never the solution. 

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Moderator Jason
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Re: Murder by Proxy

We're considering whether or not to delete this forum thread.  If it were to blow up into a mess of vile recriminations, that would make it certain.  Any other comments on the matter of deletion are welcome.

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Re: Murder by Proxy
Moderator Jason wrote:

We're currently considering whether or not to delete this forum thread.  If it were to blow up into a mess of vile recriminations, that would make it certain.  Any other comments on the matter of deletion are welcome.

While I sympathize with Nonzeroone's frustrations, I also agree with Futuo's response.

Make this one vote in favor of deleting this forum thread.

Sam....

 

 

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Re: Murder by Proxy

Futuo,

You said (among other things): "I'd say lashing out in blind violence is a rather status quo solution, that wouldn't even solve the problem[s]."

My advocacy of an extention of liability via Murder by Proxy actually is not "lashing out in violence," it is a legislative solution (a deterrent for one of the problems, where there is no effective detterent now), and it is not far removed from existing legal remedies--it's just that we have never had a level of corruption like that which now pervades the Wall Street-Governmental Complex such that "product liability" laws would be applicable to transactions which the vast majority of Americans have to participate in just to go about their daily financial lives; what father or mother, when being coached on all sides by previously "reliable" and official sources of information, when buying a house that had doubled in price over the previous 5 years, a house which they were told would only continue to appreciate, could imagine that suicide would be the most compelling solution to his or her problems 2 years later (because, as it turned out, many links in the "chain" that they had relied on were actually criminal organizations--or organizations which exploited existing legal frameworks such that the effect was a theft of the entire net worth of the buyer)?

Other "solutions" have been proposed, and are continually re-proposed (more regulation, less regulation). What we need is an overhall of the legal system; as Fernando DeSoto said, "Your legal system that creates trust among each other has collapsed."

If you haven't seen this, it's an hour well spent; it directly addresses solutions to the current sacking of the middle class.

http://fora.tv/2008/10/20/Naomi_Klein_and_Joseph_Stiglitz_on_Economic_Power (and Fernando DeSoto: http://www.charlierose.com/guest/view/2701)

This thread directly attacks the problem as it exists (with an admittedly extreme proposal). Is it a real proposal? Yes, in that it offers a remedy that is commesurate with the actual results of certain behaviors. Is it realistic? No. Not yet. But these are no ordinary times, and product liability laws might find new applications and require harsher consequences. If not applied retroactively, then as a post-hoc, proactive solution that would deter future miscreants... There are countries that have laws that eliminate problems (Saudi Arabia); there are countries that support family structure such that there is almost no crime (Japan and South Korea). There is America, the new "banana republic," which does...?

 

 

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Re: Murder by Proxy
Nonzeroone wrote:

This thread directly attacks the problem as it exists (with an
admittedly extreme proposal). Is it a real proposal? Yes, in that it
offers a remedy that is commesurate with the actual results of certain
behaviors. Is it realistic? No. Not yet.

Scary.  And how, exactly, would you overhaul the legal system to make convictions under these new laws possible? I am interested to hear what kind of kangaroo courts would return convictions on these statutes.  What about the constitutional guarantee of protection from ex post facto laws, whereby a person is punished for an act that was not illegal at the time they committed it?  That protection would have to be abolished.  Don't you think it would be nice to continue to enjoy that protection yourself? Or do you place such ultimate faith in our various legislative bodies not to use that dangerous power against you in the future?

Nonzeroone wrote:

what father or mother, when being coached on all sides by previously
"reliable" and official sources of information, when buying a house
that had doubled in price over the previous 5 years, a house which they
were told would only continue to appreciate, could imagine that suicide
would be the most compelling solution to his or her problems 2 years
later

Nonzeroone, you are treating the entire population of the United States as though they are mentally deficient, helpless waifs who are not responsible for any of their own actions.  If I decide to murder a person because I've just lost my house, I'd say that was my decision, wouldn't you?  You're extending the culture of victimhood beyond what the slimiest personal-injury lawyers ever dreamed was possible. 

And what about the consumers who lied on their loan applications, intentionally lied about their incomes and assets, in an apparent attempt to defraud the bank?  Should they be charged with murder as well?  Aren't they responsible for the downfall of the system?  If they had not defaulted on their loans, the system would not have collapsed.  Indeed, the entire banking system was based on trust---trust that these people would pay back the money that was lent to them, by terms they agreed to in writing.  By failing to pay back what wasn't theirs to begin with, and by stupidly agreeing to repayment terms that anybody could see were beyond their means, they caused all the carnage! 

So you see: things can be twisted around and presented in such a way as to make almost anybody appear to be at fault for anything.  Where does it all end?

That is why, after the brutal Middle Ages, the courts came up with the doctrine of "criminal intent", and mens rea, to stop the futile retaliatory butchery that had gone on for so long.  A person cannot be held in criminal liability unless they commit a criminal act knowingly, and with criminal intent, no matter what the statute says. 

Thus, even though you might pass a statute which provides for the punishments you outline, and even though you might get prosecutors to file cases against the bankers, unless you could prove that they had specific and malicious intent to cause murder to be committed, they could not be convicted.  Indeed, not without an overhaul of the most basic principals of our ancient common law, handed down from hundreds of years ago, and born of bitter struggle and brutal lessons learned the hard way by our own ancestors.

Do you want to throw that all away?  Just to obtain revenge on the bankers who believed, as much as anybody else, that property values would continue to rise?  And what kind of a world would we live in after all the entire judicial system had been torn down?  Nay.  People with ideas such as yours are very, very dangerous.  They would destroy the entire flower of civilization, and send us all back to the dark ages permanently, just so they might punish a banker. 

If we lived in the world you imagine, we would not have to worry about loans and loan applications.  There would be no banks, and no commerce.  There would be only hateful barbarism.

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Re: Murder by Proxy

I agree with jrf, again. You could not implement this without violation of the ex post facto principle, among others. Like srlinder, i sympathize with your frustrations, but there are no reasonable responses to jrf29's first three points, nor to these others he adds. It is an issue that needs redress, but this response is dangerous.

Also, just because it's legislated does not mean it's just, does not mean it isn't lashing out in violence...i'm sure you've heard of men like Robespierre and Hitler before, and are familiar with their stories.

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Re: Murder by Proxy

jrf29,

You said: "What about the constitutional guarantee of protection from ex post facto laws, whereby a person is punished for an act that was not illegal at the time they committed it?"

Actually--and this is addressed to you also, Futuo, with regards to me not addressing jrf29's "first three points"--I an not in the slightest worried about states' rights and the limits of Executive authority et al, because I know there is no possible legislative path forward with regards to Murder by Proxy or even "locking up tens of thousands of people, including mortgage brokers, realtors, appraisers and bankers...."

And I do make the distinction between "fraud" and "total lack of common or ethical sense." One you should be jailed for; the other, voted off the island (publically exposed as having profited off of others' tragedy). How about a new reality show where the links in the chain are exposed; we could call it: Survive These Greedy #&%@s!

What inspired me to make the point was the fact that there is a connection between the fraud and the destroyed or ended lives. It's there. I'm sure millions of people across America that have been a part of this system would rather not hear that; we can all keep our observations of reality to ourselves and not mention them in polite company, and thus enable further denial--or obfuscation. That's not one of the keystones needed to construct a wall of deterence.

 

jrf29,

You also said: "Nonzeroone, you are treating the entire population of the United States as though they are mentally deficient, helpless waifs who are not responsible for any of their own actions."

Actually I do believe that those who can think clearly need to protect those who rely on those who think clearly from those who think criminally. In fact, an entire population has proven itself in need of protection: "Buy and hold"; "Housing prices have never fallen, nationally"; "There is a new financial paradigm"; "Sign here."

We wouldn't be here, Chris Martenson.com wouldn't exist, and we wouldn't need a coda of law if everyone were equally informed and capable of being informed, and thus responsible for their own actions. The problem is that there is some small percentage of the population whose personal needs render them functionally insane with respect to being a positive consituent in society; a great many "average" Americans can't even imagine the mind of a Madoff, and surely don't expect to meet one who is extending a contract and a pen on what should be one of the happiest days of their lives...

Related  video: http://fora.tv/2008/07/31/Christopher_Kremmer_The_Good_the_Bad_and_the_Greedy

If I can't have Murder by Proxy, how about acknowledging that the system is broken and there are some sick (as in greedy to the point of being socially insane) people out there that need to be guarded against and dealt with.

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Murder by Proxy
Nonzeroone wrote:

If I can't have Murder by Proxy, how about acknowledging that the
system is broken and there are some sick (as in greedy to the point of
being socially insane) people out there that need to be guarded against
and dealt with.

If you put it like that, I'm right there with you, Nonzeroone.

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Re: Murder by Proxy

Why is it you want to kill all the CEOs and bankers and let the politicians who encouraged all this to go free? This mess has political roots in the belief of many politicians that everyone should have a house, car, medical insurance, and so on. When bankers have quotas set by the government on how many low income mortgages there should be, it is not just the financial sector that is to blame. Furthermore, the SIV type stuff consisting of lumping good and bad mortgages together and then selling them was a ploy encouraged by the fed, treasury, and Congress to spread the risk of millions of bad mortgages around among investors world wide.

 

There seems to be a tendency to call this kind of fraud 'Capitalism'. A capitalist is an ethical person who produces a good or service and sells it in the open market to other capitalists on a voluntary basis trading value for value. Trading trash SIVs to investors as AAA, BBB, BB, etc when they know that there is no way to tell if any of the vehicle is BB let alone AAA amounts to fraud. Please do not call capitalists crooks, crooks are crooks. There are two kinds of business types out there, the producers and the looters. When you see someone producing a product or service and getting paid by someone else for them, that is capitalism. When you see people trading in paper of unknown origin, selling it to people in exchange for their savings knowing that it can never be paid back, and using this trade to leverage their take by doing it over and over again to line their pockets with the money created by the fraud, then you know that they are looters no matter who they claim to be. Bernake and Paulson are the aids and partners of the looters furnishing them ever more loot out of the public treasury and stifling legitimate production and service enterprises.

 

 A capitalist is the owner of the bakery that produces your bread, the farmer who produces ag products for use by other capitalists for production food products. The person who trades in contracts on that production can be either a capitalist or looter depending upon how he operates. If he sells grain futures to a farmer who wants to be sure of receiving X dollars a bushel for his corn and let the trader take the risk of the corn not reaching that price or even exceeding it, he is a capitalist. If he is a trader who sells thousands of contracts of corn short to drive down the price of corn so that he can cheat the farmer out of his profits, he is a looter. A farmer is a looter if he takes government subsidies for producing nothing. Where subsidies are concerned, are the politicians who pass the appropriations for this loot not looters also? If a person hires a contractor to treat his house for insect infestation and the contractor succeeds and charges a fair price, the service is capitalistic. If the contractor sprays with water and pretends to provide the service, he is a looter. All I am saying is that you need to be sure that it is the looters that you go after. There were many bankers who did not get involved in the subprime fraud and who are now being asked to compete with those who did with money extorted from their banks and the public. Who is the capitalist and who the looter? The actions of our government at present are focused on helping the looters at the expense of the producers, and this is the tragedy of our current situation. In the end analysis, it is the government that is mainly at fault, since it trades not in goods or services, but in favors and pull.

 

pwoody

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Headless
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Re: Murder by Proxy

pwoody82,

I don't want to kill anyone (but if, realizing what damage they had done, they decided to kill themselves, no problem). I think at least a couple of you that have posted here don't understand the concept of "by proxy."

I agree with you on: "Why...let the politicians who encouraged all this to go free?"

It's a collage of guilt. In my opinion the real problem is the sometimes utter lack of perspective on the part of those who have and are profiting from others' tragedy. Many people have experienced the "silver spoons'" and their complete inability to empathize due to having no conception of anything other than their spoon-fed lives; they are the kind that look at a homeless person laying along the side of the road and say: "Jeezuz. Just get a job you loser." That's it. They don't need to go any further. They've never "been anywhere" that would inform them of the multitudinous reasons that that man is where he is. And the average silver spoon will have forgotten about that man by the time the rear wheels of the car pass the worn-through soles of his dirty shoes. Most of us who come from middle-class backgrounds and ended up at good colleges know how differently these people understand the world. I know a few very well from my years in a fraternity.

I guess you can't legislate "perspective"; and frankly, from my experience, most of the silver spoons that have made it to puberty are write-offs; they will never understand. Whatever the solution is, it has be maleable enough to bend around them as they continue to stand self-righteously in the way, spitting out their "Free market," "personal freedom at all costs" one liner fixes that they assure us "would work if you idiots would just leave things alone and quit whining."

P.S. Larry Kudlow is the quintessential example of America via Free Spoon-ism; the fact that such a damaging message as his is still allowed to be broadcast to millions (after 12? years of inflicting damage on middle Americans) proves that those in control of the media have one goal in mind: to fuc* you! Larry Kudlow's continued existence on the airways of American television is not a small part of why I am renouncing my American citizenship. 조심해요!

 

Septimus's picture
Septimus
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Re: Murder by Proxy

This thread is a good example of why I am paying money to subscribe to this site. I wold suggest for consideration that threads that are found potentially offensive NOT be deleted, but instead placed in a section of the subscribers only forum so subscribers can look at the them. That way, nearly all the concerns of Chris will be addressed as far as people coming to the site and being turned off, as the "offensive" threads will be in a section you must be to access, yet the valuable dialogue and discussion will not be removed. It is precisely threads like this, that start off in a somewhat inflammatory way, that can yield excellent discussion.

 And, I will submit for the moderator's consideration, the valuable discussion occurred mostly after the moderator post about deleting the thread. Yes, that may have changed the tone of discussion but it also shows the excellent thought provoking material may have never have been if the thread had been deleted.

 Finally, to  pwoody82:

 Agreed on a true Capitalist!  Adam Smith's book"Theory of Moral Sentiments", written before "The Wealth of Nations" provides the underpinning for moral actions and explanations of motives. All, whether capitalist or not, I think Smith would concur, should strive for moral and ethical dealings with others.

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Moderator Jason
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Re: Murder by Proxy
Septimus wrote:

And, I will submit for the moderator's consideration, the valuable
discussion occurred mostly after the moderator post about deleting the
thread. Yes, that may have changed the tone of discussion but it also
shows the excellent thought provoking material may have never have been
if the thread had been deleted.

I agree.  This thread is an example of vigorous and intelligent conversation developing from a potentially explosive subject.  I am glad that the thread didn't have to be deleted.  We will always try to use deletion sparingly, recognizing that any post can be of value if it is capable of catalyzing intelligent thought.

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