Jewish World Review March 8, 2004 / 15 Adar, 5764

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Nothing more than a show trial: Meanwhile, the real corporate thieves are roaming free | You know that old saying, "justice is blind?" Well, when it comes to the Martha Stewart case, you can go ahead and add deaf and dumb to that description.

The feds got their woman today. The almost universally-scorned Martha Stewart's career, reputation and freedom were taken from her in a Wall Street courtroom as the world looked on. Now, the question is not whether the jury gave Martha her justice desserts, but rather why this case ever reached the courthouse steps in the first place.

Oh, I know the prosecutors crowed about protecting the little guy from the big, bad guy who cheats on Wall Street who lie and cheat and hurt middle America's stock portfolio. But that's a load of garbage. Love her or hate her, just know that Martha Stewart's case was nothing more than a show trial. It targeted a celebrity and it involved chump change. Meanwhile, the real corporate thieves who screwed middle-class Americans out of billions of dollars are roaming free, knowing they will never spend a second in jail for their billion-dollar schemes:

  • Enron's Kenny-boy Lay has not even been charged by the feds.

  • And what about Salomon Smith Barney's Peter Grubman? He defrauded middle-class investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars. He crushed the dreams of retired Americans who lost their life savings because of his actions. But Jack Grubman won't spend a day in jail because the feds already cut a deal with him.

  • The same with the formerly revered Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill, who "Atlantic Monthly" reported struck a deal with Grubman to get his kids into an exclusive Manhattan preschool in return for Grubman's positive rating on a stock, AT&T. Well, Citigroup made millions brokering the deal. Middle-class Americans got screwed. And once again, the Wall Street hucksters walked.

  • And the worst of them all may be Merrill Lynch's Henry Blodget who went on TV in 1999 praising stocks that Merrill Lynch was pushing. But off-air, Blodget was e-mailing fellow workers, calling their preferred stocks pieces of crap. After defrauding millions of Americans out of billions of dollars, where was Henry Blodget today? In jail? No, he was actually reporting on the Martha Stewart trial, no doubt laughing at the irony of the situation and the misguided stupidity of government prosecutors, who speared the minnow, while letting all the Moby Dicks swim away.

When it comes to the Wall Street law in the 21st century, there just ain't no such thing as justice.

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