Wow, the NYPD is keeping us 99-percenters safe again. They mobilized a massive sting operation to arrest 141 guys at delis, bodegas and other small business entrepreneurial locations because they were selling hot iPhones. According to the New York Post, that bastion of right-wing salaciousness, New York's finest sent undercover officers to over 600 stores in all five boroughs, to bring down this massive crime-wave that has afflicted us lately.
Hard to believe Mayor Mike Bloomberg's private army had time to cut down on these dastardly crimes sweeping Manhattan, what with all the overtime they are racking up keeping us all safe from harmless Occupy Wall Street protesters...harmless to the rest of us, but maybe not so harmless to the .1 percenters like our Mayor. When they aren't busy imprisoning journalists and politicians, of course.
Don't get me wrong, I own an iPhone--an even stupider device that the Droid I used to own, but that's another matter--and iPhone thieves should be busted. I have no tolerance for crimes small--or big. It's important that we all are safe to zone out on the subways, what with the delays and construction going on all the time. At least, that way losing giant chunks of my life--that I will never get back underground--can be spent listening to some tunes. And thanks to Albany's failure to fairly and rationally deal with our MTA budget...for years...with fares going up and delays going up, I suppose it is really the least the authorities can do for us.
That said, I have to question the priorities here. Petty crime is up. Why? Are people all of a sudden becoming less moral in the Big Apple? Or maybe the petty thieves are foolishly thinking that if the big thieves on Wall Street can get away with billions of dollars in theft, maybe it's OK to steal? Cultural standards tend to flow down from the top to the bottom.
The system doesn't seem to mind if a financial professional sells worthless paper to some pension plan and then makes a killing shorting the same paper behind the back of its so-called customer. Hard to see why it's a surprise that some people might get the idea that the sauce that is so sweet for that golden goose, might be OK for some street-level gander, too.
But I'm probably not clever enough to figure out why a mayor with a country house in Bermuda might find iPhone theft worth pointing both barrels at and Wall Street crimes, somehow, too big to stop with clever undercover tactics.
Am I being unfair? Then where's the massive sting operation to bust all those financial operators? Where are all the undercover guys pretending to be clients of high-end brokers going into 600 investment houses and hedge funds and getting those guys on a wire and busting them? Don't the people in charge around here watch cop shows on TV? Or would that gore an ox too close to home?
And just by the way, exactly how many of fat-cats are going to jail? Not the bankers, like mine at the local branch, making an average of about $80,000 a year and who take their job responsibilities seriously. But the 1 percent of the 1 percent, the elite leaders of the banks and brokerages and hedge funds that are too big to fail.
Let's see if John Corzine, for example, one of the primo fat cats, former Goldman Sachs CEO, does time for the MF Global mess--and the $1.2 billion that disappeared from client accounts. That case is make-or-break for the government and the market. If he walks, so will--or should--any rational investor, because that means Mr. Market is now just a crony con-game, not a fair and level playing field.
How bad is it? Check out this from an interview Nov. 1, 2011 on Breakout, with Mike Mayo, over at Yahoo Finance, by Jeff Macke.