Matthew Andrews, a Liberty Union Party candidate for Congress in Vermont, is calling for a vigorous prosecution of banks and bank executives who have undermined the economy by hiding $12 billion owned by 22,000 of America’s wealthiest citizens from taxation. According to Andrews, “Yesterday’s $2.6 billion settlement with Credit Suisse is a slap on the wrist. The fact that their stock rose 0.96% after the settlement was announced objectively proves this. For the rule of law to have teeth, bankers need to know they’re not too big to jail.”
Credit Suisse pled guilty to a single charge of conspiring to aid tax evasion. Many observers were surprised that their banking license was not revoked. “This plea deal fails to hold them accountable. American CEO Brady Dougan allowed this to happen on his watch, yet he remains in charge. The fact that Credit Suisse can carry on with business as usual sends the wrong message,” Andrews said. “Once again Attorney General Eric Holder has failed to use his prosecutorial power to stand up for the American people. Not a single banker has gone to jail under his watch since taking office in 2009. If he cannot get tough on those who loot the national economy, President Obama should ask for his resignation.”
Matthew Andrews believes the problem with enforcement goes beyond a weak Attorney General. “Enforcing existing laws to save the banking system is doomed to fail. When we allow such enormous concentrations of wealth to develop, wealthy interests use their power to undermine, evade, or ignore the law. Government regulators and industry are separated by a
Speaking of solutions, Andrews said, “We need to get our money out of Wall Street and into public state banks that will loan money to create jobs and support socially responsible projects. Big banks that destabilize the economy should be nationalized in the public interest. We should not be at the mercy of private profit-seeking interests to reinvest the wealth working people have created.”
Regarding the problem of off-shoring assets, Matthew Andrews sites a study by the Tax Justice Network, which estimates that globally, $21–$32 trillion is hidden from regulation.* “The world’s wealthiest capitalists and criminals have colluded to hide their wealth. Citizens of all nations should be outraged and join forces to end this system, of which the secrecy laws in Switzerland are just one example. These off-shore bank accounts are not just a side show. They undermine the global economy. If the super-rich paid their fair share, governments could pay off their debts and restore social services.”
* The Price of Offshore Revisited by the Tax Justice Newtork.
Matthew Andrews is a Liberty Union Party candidate for Congress living in Plainfield, Vermont.