Obama’s Best Strategy for 2012 Election: Throw Wall Street in Jail

If Obama wants to get re-elected in 2012, he may want to tap into the anger of the American people. With the current economic and political headwinds, I don’t think “hope”, a good stump speech, his accomplishments, or even a Jobs Bill is enough for re-election. The American public is angry and they want Wall Street held accountable. They want justice. Just ask anyone at Occupy Wall Street or even a co-worker.

If this is just about votes, I am no politician, but as a trial lawyer, I do know how to get people’s (jurors) votes. Move them emotionally or tap into their emotions.

Why is the American public mad at Wall Street?

Take your pick. The mortgage meltdown. Engaging in illegal robo-signing. Selling bad mortgages to unknowing pension funds. Hoarding millions if not trillions while failing to lend money or credit. Failing to “modify” mortgages. Taking millions of people’s homes through “questionable” foreclosures. Credit default swaps. Taking huge bonuses after being bailed out by the American taxpayer. Losing trillions in the stock market & retirement funds. Selling securities while betting against them. And, the list goes on.

Why has no one responsible gone to jail? At some point, doesn’t this become a failure to prosecute?

Yes, getting millions in fines in the recent Wall Street settlements is a good start but when you have millions or trillions in cash reserves, do they just pay as they go, simply the cost of doing business? How is that a deterrent? Nothing will chill bad behavior faster than putting a few responsible parties in prison, I should know, I am a former prosecutor.

Undoubtedly, Obama will get push back from his legal counsel and campaign advisors who may say it’s a futile or dangerous move because Wall Street’s team of lawyers will out spend, out delay and out paper any US prosecutor and a conviction is never guaranteed. Or, prosecution would be too complex and we don’t have the resources or the know-how to understand the financial shenanigans. Really? I have no doubt there will be many “financial experts” who would be happy to train or explain, probably pro-bono, just to clean up their profession.

Besides, my money is on the jury. They will likely be outraged when they learn what has happened. Frankly, is there a juror out there who would vote for a Wall Street defendant when the evidence points to their guilt? “No deals, let the jury decide”, as we used to say around the office.

Maybe, President Obama is right and the Jobs Bill will turn the economy around, but I’m not holding my breath and neither are the Republicans. Obama faces more than an economic headwind or the Republican Party, he faces an angry American public that demands that Wall Street be held accountable.

Obama’s best strategy for re-election in 2012 is get on board with the American people and do the right thing, enforce the law, regardless of the outcome. The American people want justice and we have hundreds of US prosecutors whose job it is to do justice. This simply isn’t about getting votes anymore or even re-election. It’s about doing what’s right.

Simply my opinion, what say you?


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