White-Collar-Shenanigans

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I’d be the first to admit that everything isn’t black and white. Sometimes there are no easy answers and it is difficult to process information and reach the same kinds of conclusions that others reach. Maybe its because I have held the lifeless body of a four- year-old in my arms that I intuitively default on an emotional level when I hear of another death related to a four-year-old. The news report was disturbing.

 

Actually, according to the record, the four-year-old boy died as a result of blunt trauma to his head. By now, he would have been eight years-of-age if he were still alive. The District Attorney released the thirty-nine year old man charged with his murder from a county jail last month. I guess you could say the defendant is still waiting for a speedy trial by jury. The child’s mother was also charged in the murder. She, too, is out of jail on bond and moving on with her life while she awaits trial. Actually, I threw in the “speedy trial” concept because I thought it was a Constitutional right. Who knows? They say the wheels of justice moves slowly. For me to come across as critical would seem insensitive and reflect my lack of understanding of the court process. Besides that, there were extenuating  circumstances including two third-degree felony drug charges associated with the case.

 

The rationale for the man’s release from the county jail relates to his health condition and his need for medical care that the county doesn’t have the financial resources to absorb. Besides that, the county doesn’t have the kind of needed medical resources within their county. Consequently, I guess you could say, they are giving the defendant a free walk, at least for the time being. Maybe I’m over-reacting. Like I said, I have a tendency to err by looking at the circumstances from the viewpoint of the four-year-olds whose life was taken. Call me cold hearted if you will, but it is beyond my understanding.

 

Maybe the county has done their part? The defendant was released on a $500,000 personal recognizance bond. I figure if he’s been out of work for the past three years due to being incarcerated, he probably doesn’t have two thin dimes to rub together. Good luck on the personal recognizance bond. Beyond that, he has to provide the name of his medical provider and a listing of his doctor’s appointments. In addition, he has to call the Judicial District Court’s office once a week along with the Adult Supervision Office of the Judicial District. He also has to attend court as scheduled and bring his cell phone for inspection. For that matter, the supervision officer has the right to search his home upon request. It all gets a little complicated since he doesn’t have to stay in the county.

 

Maybe I want blood out of a turnip, but the whole process seems flawed and belittles justice. When it comes to kids, I’m more of the opinion that the defendant would be better off with a millstone tied around his neck and thrown into the depths of the sea. Why take the risk of harm coming to another child?

 

On another note, did I mention that sometimes there are no easy answers and it is difficult to process information and reach the same kinds of conclusions that others reach? I obviously don’t know anything about the judicial system and I’m even more confused when it comes to the banking system. Maybe that is one of the reasons the General carries our one checkbook. She doesn’t have confidence that I can keep up with it. Consequently, I’m issued a blank check on an as-needs-be basis. The only time I need one is when I’m going to the barbershop. They don’t take credit cards. Consequently cash or checks are the only options where I get my hair cut.

 

Like I said, I don’t know much about the banking industry. For example, one of the big news items this week has been the forfeiture of employment by Well Fargo’s CEO, John Stumpf. The poor man (pardon the pun) is now out of work and according to headlines in one news release, didn’t receive a severance package. One Senator even asked for his head. Clearly, that seems like an over-reaction doesn’t it? They say that all is fair in love and war. The way I see it, if you can allegedly murder a four year old and then walk, asking for someone’s head over misrepresentation  (but legal) banking practices seems a little harsh. After all, this was white-collar-shenanigans and some would maintain that no real damage was done. People do it all the time, or so they do it seems.

 

One of the headlines I saw indicated that Mr. Stumpf left Wells Fargo in disgrace. But, after serving as CEO of Wells Fargo for the past six years, surely there was some kind of severance package. After all, the poor man’s salary was only $19 million dollars a year. At that rate, how do you set anything aside for your golden years? Out of curiosity, I checked. According to Wikipedia, he was thought to be worth $50 million. Of course, that estimate was based on August 2016.

 

Well, according to the most recently released information, Stumpf not only walked away from Wells Fargo in disgrace, he also walked away with almost $134 million in hand. That ought to give one incentive to hold his head up high. From an estimated worth perspective, I’d say he is worth a pretty penny. That’s not a bad increase over a six-week period. See, I knew there had to be a light at the end of the tunnel. After all, the man is only about sixty-three-years-old. He isn’t yet old enough to draw Social Security. The extra $134 million has to come in handy. Throw in the other $50 million he had in his nest egg and I’d say he is well ahead of most Americans. I know that is true for folks who work for nonprofit corporations.

 

I don’t know much about banking, but I do have a working familiarity with the Wells Fargo. We’ve utilized their banking services over the past twenty-six years. During that period of time, I’ve often wondered why they’ve paid zilch on interest in one’s savings. Honestly, over past three of four years, I’ve suggested to the General that we needed to do something differently.

 

The problem is, Wells Fargo is the bank where our direct deposits are made and some routine expenses get paid automatically. It will be inconvenient to make a change. Truthfully, if I checked the salaries of other CEOs of banks, I’d probably opt to give up on the banking industry all together. Under the notion that ignorance is bliss, I’m going to keep my head buried in the sand and not attempt to learn what other CEOs in banking earn. However, now that I know about Wells Fargo, as far as I’m concerned I’m done.

We will do it differently!

 

All My Best!

Don

 

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