How the US’ rich and powerful are held to a different standard

1. Big Dirty Money (Main Book) copy
Big Dirty Money
Big Dirty Money: Making White Collar Criminals Pay” by Jennifer Taub  explores how ordinary US citizens suffer when the rich and powerful use tax dodges or break the law to get richer and more powerful — and how we can stop it.اضافة اعلان

There is an elite crime spree happening in the US, and the privileged perps are getting away with it. Selling loose cigarettes on a city sidewalk can lead to a choke-hold arrest, and death, if you are not among the top 1 percent. But if you’re rich and commit mail, wire, or bank fraud, embezzle pension funds, lie in court, obstruct justice, bribe a public official, launder money, or cheat on your taxes, you’re likely to get off scot-free (or even win an election).

When caught and convicted, such as for bribing their kids’ way into college, high-class criminals make brief stops in minimum security Club Fed camps. Operate the scam from the executive suite of a giant corporation, and you can prosper with impunity. Consider Wells Fargo & Co. Pressured by management, employees at the bank opened more than 3 million bank and credit card accounts without customer consent, and charged late fees and penalties to account holders. When CEO John Stumpf resigned in shame, the board of directors granted him a $134 million golden parachute.

This is not victimless crime. Big Dirty Money details the scandalously common and concrete ways that ordinary Americans suffer when the well-heeled use white collar crime to gain and sustain wealth, social status, and political influence. Profiteers caused the mortgage meltdown and the prescription opioid crisis, they’ve evaded taxes and deprived communities of public funds for education, public health, and infrastructure.

Taub goes beyond the headlines (of which there is no shortage) to track how we got here (essentially a post-Enron failure of prosecutorial muscle, the growth of too big to jail syndrome, and a developing implicit immunity of the upper class) and pose solutions that can help catch and convict offenders.

Jennifer Taub is a legal scholar and advocate whose writing focuses on follow the money matters — promoting transparency and opposing corruption. She has testified as a banking law expert before the US House of Representatives and has appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and CNN’s Newsroom. Taub was the Bruce W. Nichols Visiting Professor of Law in fall 2019 at Harvard Law School and is a professor of law at the Western New England University School of Law. She is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.


In its review of Big Dirty Money, the San Francisco Chronicle  said: “Blood-boiling ... with quippy analysis, ... Taub proposes straightforward fixes and ways everyday people can get involved in taking white-collar criminals to task.”
“Taub explicitly and persuasively places the breakdown of enforcement and accountability in the context of money and class,” the New York Times’ review read.

“A crisp, engaging account of the many ways that corruption is thriving in the private sector and governments at every level. ... Taub writes the law like the professor she is (though she is a much better writer than most lawyers). ... You can’t read these books without realizing that we are living in an awful time of lax ethical and legal standards,” the Washington Post concluded.

“The US is drowning in dirty money; we’ve constructed a two-tiered system of justice, of corruption and campaign finance; of bailouts and bankruptcies,” Slate’s senior legal editor, Dahlia Lithwick, said in her review of Big Dirty Money. “Anyone worried about how these failures shape politics, elections, journalism, and justice should take notice.”

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