MINNEAPOLIS — Amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, Iceland was busy with more than decking the halls — it was jailing its bankers for their roles in the 2008 economic crisis.
In the wake of the meltdown, the Nordic island nation bailed out its citizens, left its banks to fail, and eagerly went after those who made the mess.
To date, Iceland has locked up 29 “banksters” for their role in the crash.
But in the United States, zero — yes, zero — banking executives have been singled out for investigation or prosecution for their part in the global economic quagmire. The banks themselves, including those deemed “too big to fail,” have all paid enormous fines that are nothing more than pocket change to these institutions.
But even former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke has argued that “obviously everything that went wrong or was illegal was done by some individual, not by an abstract firm.”
So how do we in the US punish our banking executives?
Well we give them multi-million dollar bonuses and salary hikes.
America is home to the world’s highest incarceration rates. Our overcrowded prisons are made up of Americans who commit petty crimes. Obviously, someone is going to jail; it’s just not corporate criminals and “banksters.”
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