“The U.S. went off the gold standard in August 1971. With no benchmark, central banks could print money and debase currencies. That opened the door for huge bailouts after big banks screwed up in a big way. Taxpayers—not incompetent bankers—paid the price.
By [the late 1980’s], the Federal Reserve Bank and large U.S. banks had established a pattern to control the public relations damage each time banks had a major screw-up: accountants and regulators let banks lie about the size of the problem to stall for time; the Federal Reserve blew smoke at the media; finally, the Fed would bail out the banks in a way that most taxpayers would not understand.
Banks didn’t have to get smarter or more competent. The Fed trained the banks that uninformed taxpayers would eat the losses, and fake accounting would let bank officers keep their positions and their money.”
If ‘rule under law’ were more than just a slogan in the United States, men who occupied the senior-most positions in too-big-to-fail banks would have been disgraced, prosecuted, and jailed. But no bank executive was held accountable.”