Bush’s legacy: The Cheney Administration

· Edgewise, Paleoblogs, White-Collar Crime

I think it’s clear now with the conviction of “Cheney’s Cheney” aka Scooter Libby that the Vice President’s Wizard-of-Oz-like pulling of levers behind curtains is the mind behind the Oval Office, and that fat balding head floating over us all is saying, “We have to make America the best place in the world to do business.” That is, Cheney’s business. Heh Heh Heh.

P.S. to F.Y.T. PG&E

· Edgewise, Paleoblogs, White-Collar Crime

“The new team” now running Enron, according to spokesman Harlan Loeb, believes a proposed settlement with federal regulators that would prevent disclosure of evidence that reveal how Enron gamed the energy trading markets during the California energy crisis, is “the best deal for creditors.” The audiotapes, email, and other documents detail how Enron’s energy traders deliberately withheld power supplies to inflate prices; the state ended up plunged in debt after a season of power shortages and utility company bankruptcies….(from Mark A. Stein in the Saturday NYTimes)

watching the detectives

· Edgewise, Paleoblogs, White-Collar Crime

Tony Soprano shoulda thought of it: hiring a couple of NYPD detectives as mob assassins. But it was “Tony” Casso who thought of it first. In today’s installment of an entertaining and wryly horrific series, Alan Feuer at the NYT brings us the courtroom finale to the trial of Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, found guilty of 70 counts by a New York jury.
That’s a lota counts. Well, they were mob assassins for twenty years. Both detectives were, in fact, retiredby the time they were arrested “at the coat check of a Nevada restaurant” a little more than a year ago. The cast of witnesses was appropriately Soprano-like: an “arthritic marijuana dealer” who was Capo Casso’s go-between, a sixth-grade drop-out who buried one victim, a Connecticut accountant who was “turned” and secretly recorded the defendents at a strip club called The Crazy Horse Too. A smallish (5′ 4″) witness was called “a gnome” by the defense lawyer who, in a 15-minute summation in support of his client, claimed

on the night before a murder that Mr. Caracappa has been charged with, he worked 16 hours guarding a man who had just shot Rabbi Meir Kahane, implying that Mr. Caracappa had been too tired to kill anyone.

Oh, and Detective Eppolito acted on the side. He was in “Goodfellas.”

I Knew that Enron M.O. Smelled Familiar

· White-Collar Crime

According to the Chicago Tribune, “Executives at the former highflying Internet consultancy MarchFirst Inc. orchestrated a campaign of questionable transactions and spending to foster an ‘unfounded illusion of success,’ according to a bankruptcy court filing Tuesday.”
Also, “According to one charge, the company engaged in a financial practice known as ’roundtripping,’ where MarchFirst invested in a start-up company only to have the firm hand the money back for MarchFirst’s consulting services [, giving] investors and analysts a false impression of the company’s financial health.”