When a stockbroker told Martha Stewart that a stock was going to tank and she said sell it, that action was called “insider trading.”
When Sean Connery teamed up with Catherine Zeta-Jones in the film, “Entrapment,” the plot was to insert some computer code into a central bank computer that siphoned off the hundredths of a percent of currency exchange transactions that would normally have been “lost.” That was billed as the crime of the millennium.
When I put in a buy order for some Ford stock earlier this year, Goldman Sachs, G-S, knew about it because they pay the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE, to tell them. Then, between the time I initiated the order and the time the order was actually placed, G-S bought that stock and then sold it to me for a few more cents per share than it would have cost me had G-S not been involved. Multiply that by the number of transactions that occur daily on the NYSE and you have the makings of a huge profit. Well, they might not have noticed my order, but that is what they do.
That “profit taking” is exactly what occurs every day. Personally, I call THAT insider trading. Goldman Sachs calls it “God’s work.” They took billions of taxpayer dollars and partied. They gave out bonuses and have no accountability. In the Times today it was reported that G-S is giving $500 million to charity to try to appease the uproar. That is akin to you or I reaching into our pockets for “coffee change” when we are touched by the unfortunate circumstances of a homeless person on the street. G-S is handing out $16.7 billion in bonuses to its employees from insider trading profit while they toss us a bone of $500 million, or a measly 3% of those bonuses—chump change.
Meanwhile, people are still being laid off, foreclosed upon, and charged usurious rates for credit-card debt. God’s work is it?
In the immortal words of Drew Barrymore, “Gimme a [fracking] break!” It is time we locked them all up. Who gets to decide what is right or wrong, or who should go to jail? Ultimately, we should. It is time. Get it done.