Is White Collar Crime an Inside Job?
Simply put, the point that Charles Ferguson is trying to get across in his documentary, The Inside Job is that economics is exactly that, it’s an inside job; with many elite employees involved. Economics is a profession, and at the end of the day, it all comes down to power, and the money being brought home by those at the top. Throughout the documentary Ferguson does an excellent job revealing the not so behind the scenes action, that many just don’t pick up on, due to the fact that companies police themselves. The documentary explains how it effects everyone, even those that are not directly involved or related. Those who are responsible for the financial meltdown in 2008, and the housing bubble are revealed, and an explanation is given as to why they are still in charge of the companies whose actions affected millions of people not only in The United States, but all over the world. Several different types of white collar crimes were committed leading up to the financial crisis, and several different companies were engaging in the large scale criminal activity. Financial deregulation is one of the main topics discussed in the documentary, and how financial institutions were given more freedom; thus making more risky investments with their depositors money, and seeing no consequences when these investments fell through. The documentary brings forward many thoughts about the types of white collar crime committed and how those that are guilty got away with it, how the victims were affected by the careless actions of the companies, as well as the reasons and motivation behind the crimes. The documentary stresses that this crisis was no accident, and that it was all caused by an out of control industry. Each crises causes more and more financial damage, while industries continue to make millions. While the documentary doesn’t once mention the term white collar crime, it doesn’t take much to realize that this was exactly what went on.“Not only have the vast majority of responsible parties not been convicted of any crime — they haven’t even been charged” (Andrew Leonard, 2012), the employees that destroyed their own companies, and caused crisis all over the world, walked away with all their money, and left millions of people without their savings. Defining White Collar Crime
Defined by Edwin Sutherland(1949), white collar crime is “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation”. Countless types of white collar crime exist, many people not even being aware of them .It is strongly believed that white collar crime was the cause of the global financial crisis of 2008, which consisted mainly of mortgage, insurance, and security fraud. Marshall Clinard and Richard Quinney (1973) defined two types of white collar crime: occupational, and corporate. They defined occupational crime as being committed by individuals over the course of their occupation, mainly for personal gain, whereas corporate crime is committed by the corporations as a whole, the crime is planned and committed for the corporations financial gain. In The Inside Job, several types of white collar crime were committed, such as: laundering, cooking books, and defrauding customer’s money. Even though those who commit white collar crime are labeled as criminals, they often don’t fall under the typical stereotype that street criminals hold. Reducing the amount of white collar crime is something that is very important and there needs to be more attention toward it. The media definitely needs to focus more on white collar crime, as most news usually revolves around street crime, rather than revealing the crimes being committed by large corporations. A stronger punishment is needed to reduce white collar crime. Often, those who commit white collar crimes get off without jail, because they have the money to pay millions of dollars in fines. Increasing these fines drastically would...
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