Just A Temporary Setback In The Noble Smart People Battle Against The Rule Of Law
August 10, 2012 Leave a comment
Some of the usual suspects (as well as the politically motivated) are having (or feigning) a hissy fit over the government’s announcement that they will not prosecute Goldman (i.e. some of Goldman’s employees or ex-employees) over the Abacus deal in which Goldman bought a thing from X and sold it to Y without overruling the financial decisionmaking of both X and Y and/or somehow ensuring that both X and Y simultaneously made money on a zero-sum trade, as (everyone now agrees) market-makers are morally obligated to do.
None of these usual suspects are stating in any concrete terms what they think Goldman’s employees should have been prosecuted for. There just should have been some prosecutions, for like whatever. Bad stuff happening. Whatever. Someone somewhere needs to be prosecuted, they’re sure of it. The fact that there will be no prosecutions, for something or other unspecified, means the death of democracy, the smothering of widows, the system doesn’t work and has been captured and/or sold out by the opposite-political-party-from-the-one-you-happen-to-like.
This rhetoric is nothing new: it is symptomatic of the growing post-rule-of-law consensus among Smart People. You see, Smart People all agree they shouldn’t really have to cite laws to prosecute people anymore. That is too much of a hassle. They just need to cite their feelings. Or perhaps ‘principles’. On the internet. The consensus is overwhelming and as exhibit A I note the fact that I, a total pathetic nobody (and certainly not Smart) will likely be one of the very few people on the internet daring to even break from it by not whining about, even defending in a way, this decision not to prosecute over Abacus. Fortunately, I matter not and no one gives a rip what I think. If anything, I will at most be shunned and ridiculed for being such a cretin on this subject.
That’s why you should have nothing but confidence that the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute people based on Smart People Feelings in this particular instance is but a temporary setback. Or, it may indeed be true that Goldman has powerful lobbyists, allies (and aspiring employees) in government, has captured regulators, and all that jazz, but don’t worry: that would just make them the exception that proves the rule. Because (even if you buy all that, which to be clear, I kinda do) just imagine all the people who work for firms out there who aren’t Goldman: presumably, without Goldman’s protection and connections as displayed in this instance, they can be prosecuted for diddly squat at the drop of a hat. So, that should help you all rest easy, since that’s exactly what you want.