Monday, April 17, 2006


Has everybody heard of this whole Carolina Investors Inc. Thing?

In short, Carolina Investors grossly mismanaged thousands of people’s money, flat out lied to them, and then went into bankruptcy, meaning that all these people lost their life savings.

Things like this always highlight the major double standard when it comes to finances.

For example, the President of Carolina Investors, for his part in all this, ended up getting 8 years (but will probably be paroled the year after next) in a minimum security prison…and when I say minimum security, I mean minimum security. Dorm rooms instead of cells, volleyball courts, no actual fences and very few guards.

How is this justice?

The other big thing that really pissed me off, is that when the auditors where called in, people who had managed to remove their money from Carolina Investors before they crashed, where ordered to pay back the money they drew out.

I’m sorry, but if that happened to me, I’d tell them to go screw themselves. I got my money out before the crash, it’s my money, so you have no right to it.

This is a major double standard in numerous ways.

For example, in my entire life, I have been overdrawn with my bank account once. Despite the fact I was getting calls from my bank every other day offering me credit cards, low interest overdraft facilities etc. I always turned them down. At the time, I had no major bills and had absolutely no reason to spend money I don’t have.

However, once, due to a mistake, I accidentally went 7 pence overdrawn. That’s roughly 12 cents.

What happened? I got phone calls, threatening letters and was told I know owed them a 20 pound (Approx 37 dollars) ‘unauthorised overdraft fee’.

So here’s the deal. If I make a mistake, or encounter an unforeseeable problem, and end up owing the bank money, they can threaten me, send me letters, and then send a collection agency to my house to take my possessions to pay for the debt.

However, when a bank goes out of business, or an investment they make goes belly up, and they lose all my money…it’s tough shit:

“We lost your money, this isn’t our fault because it was a business deal that went south, so tough shit, you’ve lost your money.”

When the same thing happens to us? Who cares? You owe the bank money, they’re going to collect, one way or the other…if you can’t pay, you go to jail.

Why can’t we demand that the owners of the Bank, and all their partners be forced to sell all of their stuff to pay us back?

The other main double standard is the punishment for doing this.

Look at it this way:

If someone like you or me went to a gas station and grabbed a handful of cash from the register and legged it out the door…we’d go to jail…and I mean Federal ‘Pound you in the ass’ prison.

However, if you steal millions of dollars, but instead of using a gun, you use paperwork, ‘creative’ book-keeping, lies and doublespeak…you don’t go to prison, you spend at most a year or two in a minimum security resort.

Basically, the less money you have, and the less money you steal…the longer you spend in prison.

That’s what it all comes down to, money. If you have it, you have almost nothing to fear from the legal system.

Your chance of being found guilty, and the severity of your sentence doesn’t seem to depend on your innocence or the severity of the crime…it’s how many high-powered lawyers you can afford.

1 comment:

delmer said...

I was overdrawn once while in college. While researching the problem found that the bank had failed to credit a deposit I'd made for something like two weeks.

I pointed it out to the bank.

I remember telling the teller that when I made a mistake they'd charge me $10 and asked if I could charge them $10, for their mistake.

She, aware of the fact I was joking, said that being as they were a bank all they really had to do was say they were sorry.

She was a cutie ... it was enough.

The returned the fee they'd originally charged me.