The six biggest U.S. banks, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Bank of America Corp., have piled up $103 billion in legal costs since the financial crisis, more than all dividends paid to shareholders in the past five years. That’s the amount allotted to lawyers and litigation, as well as for settling claims about shoddy mortgages and foreclosures, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The sum, equivalent to spending $51 million a day, is enough to erase everything the banks earned for 2012. (from the Bloomberg article: "U.S. Bank Legal Bills Exceed $100 Billion")
I've got a question.
Since it is without dispute
- that the financial industry pays the money that elects our government officials
- that the voting record of representatives and decisions of executive officers in the government is almost without exception in exact accord with the interests of the financial industry
- that the financial industry has willingly settled claims of law-breaking, admitted guilt to lawbreaking, been found guilty by court decision of lawbreaking, on an unprecedented scale
Then can we conclude
- with its officials receiving payments from, and its officials directing the country in accord with the interests of institutions committing crimes of an unprecedented scale, is the American government itself a criminal institution?