I’ll admit, I never get tired of Jon Stewart. While Stephen Colbert is good, Stewart is really a brilliant newsman who just happens to be funny as hell. But I do find it sad that the best — and most factual — news I get often comes from Comedy Central.
Take for instance this 9+ minute epic rant Jon Stewart unleashed last night against Fox Business and CNBC’s coverage of the JP Morgan Chase $13 billion settlement with the government.
For those of you who might not know, JP Morgan Chase settled for $13 billion for being guilty of essentially selling investors on investments they knew were going to fail just before our financial collapse.
With this kind of news, you would figure the financial networks would be applauding the fact that finally some kind of punishment had been levied against some of these financial institutions, which knew their unethical behavior would eventually crash our entire economy.
After all, not a single person in charge of one of these institutions has gone to jail for their corrupt behavior, so at least this settlement represents some kind of punishment toward an institution that was pivotal in our financial collapse. So you would think CNBC and Fox Business would be ecstatic over this settlement.
Well, apparently not.
Not only were many on these networks not happy that finally some kind of punishment had been dolled out, quite a few of the analysts called this settlement a “shakedown” and a “jihad.”
Or as Stewart, mocking their reactions, said, “It’s like if the Holocaust had sex with slavery while the last ten minutes of Human Centipede watched!”
Stewart also went on to point out that JP Morgan had planned for this possibility by setting aside a $28 billion “rainy day fund” for just such an occasion. Showing that not only was this settlement still very weak, those who now run the company thought it would be more than double what it actually was.
After he tore into the comments made by some of these ridiculous hosts, an obviously disgusted Stewart ended the segment by saying, “Fuck all y’all!” And I don’t blame him.
It is completely absurd for anyone to defend these institutions. Not only is this fine not large enough, it’s absolutely appalling that no one has been put in jail for what went on prior to our financial crash.
Many of these people knew they were selling garbage, knew it was going to all fall apart—but did so in a way that they would make unheard of sums of money and walk away when the whole bubble bursts.
And that’s exactly what many of them did.
It was true deregulated capitalism at its finest moment. Greedy bastards screwing over anyone and everything, not caring who would be hurt by their unethical behavior, simply to make as much money as possible for themselves. And it’s pretty clear that they knew, even when the whole thing collapsed, they would walk away ridiculously rich while the rest of the country would end up paying for it.
I really believe history is going to look back on this situation and laugh at all of us. Laugh at the fact that the world’s leading economy was crashed, the people responsible for the crash knew it would happen, and not a single person responsible was ever put in jail for these crimes.
The people in charge of our finances, the people who run our banks, did something no terrorist organization has been able to do—they brought down the United States. They wrecked our economy and become very rich doing it.
And how did we respond? We bailed them out and let all of them walk away rich—and free.
The more I think about it, the more it makes me absolutely sick.