Aggressive Progressive: Crooked Politicians, Businessmen, & Bankers Pilfer Town Causing Massive Layoffs and Tax Hikes. Cenk Uygur MSNBC TV June 14, 2011 video and transcript.

Transcribed by Accountants CPA Hartford, Connecticut, LLC

We’ve all heard the stories of Wall Street Greed but wait till you hear about how it affected one community in Alabama. We’re talking about Jefferson County, Alabama. Back in 1995 the local government planned to put a new sewer system in. The price tag was supposed to be $250 million.

But then the bankers came in. They paid off local politicians and businessmen to let them sell the County fancy synthetic swaps and other financial weapons of mass destruction. The eventual absurd price tage of the project became $3 billion.

JP Morgan Chase eventually charged $1.28 billion in just interest and fees. As the Rolling Stones Matt Taibbi reported, it was all a sham. Twenty local officials and so-called consultants were convicted of corruption in Federal court.

Now how many bankers got convicted? You guessed it: none. They paid a comically low fine of $25 million and restitution of $50 million, a fraction of what they made off the deal, and they were free to go.

And what happened to Jefferson County in the meanwhile? Well, they’re still saddled with the debt. So today 1,000 workers are being forced to take leave without pay. Sheriff Mike Hale said that his deputies will not be responding to traffic accidents because of budget problems.

And what about JP Morgan Chase? Well, they are living the high life, hauling in record profits. $17.4 billion last year, $5.6 billion in the first quarter alone of this year. That’s the biggest quarterly profit in its history. And just to put things into perspective, the $12 million saved by putting workers on leave is only 0.2% of JP Morgan’s first quarter profits.

Do you get it? This isn’t theoretical. They took this County for a ride. They got rich in the meanwhile and now all the residents have to pay the bills on their modest incomes.

And where the hell is our Justice Department? I thought they were supposed to be on top of things like this. The one thing Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on is that the banks must be protected at all costs no matter what they do. If Democrats were actually progressive, they would go down to Alabama and get those votes and actually help those people.

Can we get a party to finally represent us? Please.

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About William Brighenti

William Brighenti is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified Business Valuation Analyst. Bill began his career in public accounting in 1979. Since then he has worked at various public accounting firms throughout Connecticut. Bill received a Master of Science in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Hartford, after attending the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University for his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He subsequently attended Purdue University for doctoral studies in Accounting and Quantitative Methods in Business. Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals throughout the country as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission. In addition to the blog, Accounting and Taxes Simplified, Bill writes a blog, "The Barefoot Accountant", for the Accounting Web, a Sift Media publication.
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