U.S. District Judge Sim Lake re-sentenced former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling to 14 years in prison yesterday. That was the most lenient sentence that Judge Lake could impose under the deal that Skilling cut with the Department of Justice without risking a government appeal of the sentence. Skilling has already served almost seven years in prison and that he has to spend another day in prison — much less the four more years that Judge Lake’s re-sentence imposes — is highly unjust. In the letter below that I sent a couple of weeks before Skilling’s resentencing hearing, I explain to Judge Lake why I believe that Skilling’s plight is a grave injustice and why releasing him would actually have a beneficial impact on educating business markets.
John Geanakoplos, the James Tobin Professor of Economics at Yale University, discusses the perils of leverage in regard to the current global economic situation.
If you don’t read anything else this Labor Day weekend, check out this Nassim Taleb/Mark Spitznagel op-ed on the impact of dubious government bailout of Wall Street and big banks over the past several years:
For the American economy – and for many other developed economies – the elephant in the room is the amount of money paid to bankers over the last five years. In the United States, the sum stands at an astounding $2.2 trillion. Extrapolating over the coming decade, the numbers would approach $5 trillion, . . . That $5 trillion dollars is not money invested in building roads, schools and other long-term projects, but is directly transferred from the American economy to the personal accounts of bank executives and employees.
Such transfers represent as cunning a tax on everyone else as one can imagine. It feels quite iniquitous that bankers, having helped cause today’s financial and economic troubles, are the only class that is not suffering from them – and in many cases are actually benefiting.
As I’ve been saying for years, it’s not rocket science.