While Obama rails against AIG thanks to yet another scandal with bonuses and payoffs and Bernie Madoff goes to jail (or not) smiling after having a last dinner (and seriously, what restaurant in New York City would serve him?) complete with white wine and aperitifs, I’m thoroughly disgusted with not only the level of corruption, which was as pervasive as, say, late Ming dynasty eyebrow-singing ridiculousness, but in the completely unrepentant attitudes of its participants.
Not only have they destroyed so much in their efforts to make a quick buck or line their own pockets, but even when they’re publicly branded and brought under close scrutiny they still take a mile with every inch. They’re rotten to the core, and disastrous to the well-being of, well, everybody.
Again, the more bloodthirsty of me harkens back a couple years to former China FDA head Zheng Xaioyu’s public apology and summary execution for gross corruption as head of a regulatory agency. Here, even jail time is rare for white collar criminals (hell, Madoff is appealing (!) his jailing) so a part of me must admire the straight-forwardness of China’s handling of white collar crime that hurts real people.
Now, I admired Jim Cramer’s gracious eating of crow even in the face of admitting to short-selling and other devious, underhanded practices in the art of making a quick buck, even though I know that cathartic feeling of watching him simper was irrational, but he proved to be – in the end – a somewhat conscientious man who knew he did wrong. I don’t get that from Madoff or AIG. It’s not “I did wrong,” it’s “okay, you caught me.”
So help me, when the revolution comes…