I saw a story today that typifies the unmitigated contempt the “ruling class” has for society in general, its government and the rule of law. They employ every loophole possible, use offshore accounts, hide assets to lower their tax liabilities, hire contractors and out-source jobs to offset legitimate labor costs, and use legions of no-benefit, low-paid temps or citizens of a foreign country to displace Americans who grew up, were schooled and live here.
So this time it’s (or should I say “again it’s”) former head of Lehman Brothers, Dick Fuld, who’s “taking stock” (so to speak) of his personal finances as he awaits inevitable court dates(s) while former share owners and creditors queue up to sue the SOB.
Huld and his ilk are despicable. They routinely display an overarching preoccupation with themselves, eventually becoming so possessed with amassing personal wealth and its trappings that they eagerly play every angle, sacrifice any ethic (assuming they ever adhered to ethics) and use all possible loopholes to increase and hold onto their wealth.
Case in point: Not wanting to risk losing his $13.75 million Jupiter Island Florida mansion, he sold it to his wife to his wife, Kathy in November for a mere $100. Before the sale, they had co-owned the property. The transaction quietly took place mere months after Fuld drove Lehman in to the ground.
This tactic is popular among fat cats, politicos and public servants. As long as you can trust the wife, you transfer your wealth to her and then when the situation sours, since the ones you left holding the bag can come only after your assets, you limit your exposure to litigation and subsequent payment of damages.
I don’t mind seeing cops and firefighters use doing this because they typically are far from wealthy yet encounter life and death decisions that seriously increase their potential exposure to legal action should their decisions/performance/behavior be deemed inappropriate for any reason.
But these overvalued, overpaid chumps don’t put their lives on the line for anyone. They’re elite, above the fray, above the law, profit-motivated, self-centered jerks, willing to enthusiastically embrace any means–questionable or not– to reach a profitable end.
Don’t get caught. But if you do, make sure your exposure is limited. Transfer your assets. Protect yourself from liability–be prepared to answer the court and plaintiffs but safely squirrel away assets before your principals and stakeholders have a chance to figure out who deep sixed their company.
Then, be a good sport. Hire a good lawyer. Conveniently forget details. Say how sorry you are. Draw and serve the minimum sentence before you reunite with your loving spouse, rejoin your your golf partners, travel, collect your social security and spend your waning days enjoying the wealth you stole from investors, then “buried.”
You’re just another self-absorbed, opportunistic scumbag demanding special treatment and a big tax break.