Fraud

Pay close attention to this chart:
This is a problem. As a libertarian, I generally view regulation as pointless, needlessly expensive, counterproductive, and anti-liberty. As such, I oppose a good portion of government interference in the economy. However, committing fraud is not simply a matter of failing to comply with ticky-tack regulation. Fundamentally, it is a violation of property rights. As shown by the chart above, the current vitriol directed at the banks is wholly deserved since every major bank in the united states has committed fraud (i.e. violated property rights) multiple times each.
Merriam-Webster defines fraud thusly:

deceit, trickery; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right.

In essence, fraud is attempting to lay claim to the property of another under false pretenses. If you are selling a house and offer $50,000 for it but only pay $25,000, then my attempt to claim your property is fraudulent because I lied about what I would give in exchange for your house. Your decision to sell your house to me was made in the belief that I would pay you $50,000 for it. If I take title of the house without following through on my promise, then I have essentially cheated you out of your house.

Now, if the government must exist, then it is reasonable to expect the government to defend and enforce property rights. This means that the government should prosecute murder, theft, rape, and other crimes wherein one violates another’s property rights. This should also include fraud.

Fraud may not be coercive in the manner that, say, theft is, but fraud is no different than theft in that one takes something that does not belong to one’s self, in violation of the terms of the exchange. As such, fraud is most definitely a crime the government should wholeheartedly prosecute.

All the major banks have committed massive amounts of fraud. Every last one of them. Sometimes this has consisted of foreclosing on homes that were not even collateral for any loan. Sometimes this has consisted of knowingly lying about the quality of financial instruments. There are a variety of ways in which fraud has been perpetrated by the major banks, and I refer you to The Market Ticker (run a search for “bank fraud’)for a much more comprehensive view on the matter. Essentially, the banks have stolen from a large number of people and therefore deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They have violated the property rights of far too many people, and they need to be jailed.

The assertion that the banksters deserve jail is not predicated on the complaint that banks have ignored trivial regulations; it is predicated on the fact that they have stolen from people. As such, it is not “socialistic” or “anti-market” to demand the prosecution of banksters. In fact, it is just the opposite. It is pro-market to demand that the government prosecute fraud and thereby uphold property rights. The time has come to stop the looting and start the prosecuting.

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