Guest Post: How White Collar Crime Became The “Business Model” Of Corporate/State America
by Charles Hugh Smith
Today and tomorrow we publish an important essay by C.D., a correspondent in law enforcement.
White collar crime is now the “business model” of Corporate/State America. The Status Quo does not just incentivize pathological behavior, it is itself a pathological system. CHS
Let’s start by identifying the different types of white collar crime (WCC). One is WCC involving individuals against companies (e.g. theft of property from a company) and the government (e.g. Medicare fraud) and the other is WCC of individuals within companies (e.g. MBS debacle) and the government (e.g. taking bribes to favor contractors) against people in our society.
The latter is typically punished and prosecuted less frequently or not as severely than the former for different reasons, one of which is the bias to protect the institution and sweep things under the rug. For instance, a person is allowed to resign, but they’re not prosecuted, so that bad press doesn’t come down on the institution or the supervisors of the criminal actor.
The last type of WCC is person against person (e.g. credit card number thefts) outside of any business or government entity. This last type is usually the domain of organized crime in its typical sense (i.e. the Mob, Mafia, etc.), but organized crime can also be part of the other categories, which is why they are pursued relentlessly by law enforcement agencies. However, some people may not include organized crime in the definition of WCC.
The difference between these types of WCC is who the crimes are committed against. If you commit a crime against the government, a business, especially a big business, or the moneyed classes, you’re screwed (typically). For example, Madoff was prosecuted quickly and punished severely, because he largely ripped off rich people.