Thursday, December 25, 2014

"The French aristocracy never saw it coming either"

Funny -- I saw this giant sign on a trip to Lower Manhattan last week and did a double-take, as did this blogger who posted on it, also last week. (One thing that's weird...you'd think there's enough money in mini-storage that the company owners would be aristocrats, but I disgress.) Anyway, I guess it's a sign of the times.

"The French aristocracy never saw it coming either"



Funny -- I saw this giant sign on a trip to Lower Manhattan last week and did a double-take, as did this blogger who posted on it, also last week. (One thing that's weird...you'd think there's enough money in mini-storage that the company owners would be aristocrats, but I disgress.) Anyway, I guess it's a sign of the times.

Meanwhile, the American aristocracy also doesn't see it coming -- but they will if they keep getting away with this kind of crap:

David Rubin, a Beverly Hills banker who donated generously to some of the more expensive Clinton- and Rendell-era political campaigns, and whose municipal clients included some of America's brokest cities (Detroit, Birmingham, Philadelphia), was finally sentenced March 12 for his confessed criminal role in what the New York Times called a "vast bid-rigging scheme" to rip off New York state taxpayers.

Rubin's company, CDR Financial Products, was also a promoter of interest-rate swaps, in which hundreds of local governments bet against Wall Street banks on the future direction of interest rates and, as most of us would expect, lost millions for taxpayers.

Poorly arranged swaps cost Philadelphia perhaps $186 million, city treasurer Nancy Winkler told City Council members at a 2012 hearing. When Councilman Jim Kenney asked who should be punished, Winkler noted that Rubin and his staff "were convicted and are mostly either in prison or awaiting sentence."

But Rubin won't end up behind bars. Though he pleaded guilty in 2011 to crimes prosecutors said should have gotten him sent away for years, he was given probation and fines by U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood, whom President Clinton had wanted to make the U.S. attorney general.

I guess it's true that they always say in America...if you are going to steal, steal large. Although I've been more critical than just about anyone of the Philadelphia lawmakers who allegedly pocketed cash from lobbyist-turned-stingman Tyron Ali, I'll note that their episode of pocketing a thousand bucks or two in cash led to a "MEN WALK ON MOON" headline in the Inquirer. This dude here stole millions of our tax dollars, had friends in VERY high places and got off with less than a slap on the wrist -- and I nearly missed this article, if someone had not posted it on Twitter this evening. This was cash that could have educated kids in Philly's poorest neighborhoods, and got diverted to Beverly Hills.

So why have the masses not risen up against these American aristocrats?

Maybe the masses just haven't pieced it all together...yet.

About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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