Three years after the financial meltdown no one involved has gone to jail. Bankers have in fact pocketed huge bonuses as if their performance were something that should be rewarded. This defies any definition of reasonable consequences and one would think that justice has taken a permanent holiday from the planet. The public and investors have been thrown a few bones, the SEC’s fine against Citi, which amounted to a slap on the wrist has been thrown out by a NY judge. The SEC pushed back and told the judge that his action prevented investors from getting any compensation; it seems the SEC is telling the judge to take it or leave it. Now we have John Corzine, one of the most astute financial wizards of our time, who is claiming he did not know that $1.2B of investor’s money was being used inappropriately and that money has now vanished into the black hole of MF Global’s bankruptcy. That is rather hard to believe, and if it is true, it was Corzine’s job to know how the company’s money was being used, so at minimum it is a gross failure to perform.
Now compare that to what is happening for the less affluent. The jobs that the US congress has said are at risk if we raise taxes on the rich have certainly not materialized. We all know that many of the very wealthy contribute heavily to politicians, so this line sounds much more fictional than factual. The result is that jobs are still hard to find and layoffs continue. Collection agencies who are having trouble squeezing blood out of poor turnips are now trying to bring back debtors prison. I guess if you can’t jail the rich criminals, you may as well fill your prisons with the poor. On the bright side, at least the poor will have food and shelter, but it will cost the US taxpayers big money to house people in the prison system. The big money in the prison system is a topic for another day. Add to that the actions of the US House which passed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Look here to read more. Passage is expected by the Senate and President has stated he will sign it. The Act regards due process. It means that people, like you and me, can be jailed without due process, without a right to trial and without habeas corpus. More white out applied to the US Constitution. It appears our lawmakers need to be reminded that a lot of blood was spilled to secure those rights and it is their job as public servants to protect them. I strongly suspect that ship already sailed.
It seems that the golden rule applies, at least the one that says “The one with the gold makes the rules”.
At a time when the biggest crime seems to be a lack of money, it is a good idea to protect your wealth if you have any left.
In these volatile financial and political times it is likely a good idea to put at least some of your wealth into gold. Gold is and has been a safe haven investment in volatile times. Gold bullion is also a great way to own gold. As with all investments make sure you know what you are buying and if you are purchasing gold a reasonable price is no more that 5%-20% over the spot price of gold.