The days when organized crime figures robbed banks and gunned down one another are long gone. Now, that kind of thing is left to lone strays, street gangs and the like.
Today’s organized criminals are more likely to be involved in white-collar heists. They manipulate stock futures and cook the books of multibillion-dollar corporations for example.
And, I suspect, they loot government funds.
According to legend, when a gangster named Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he said:
Because that’s where the money is.
Now, I bet criminals have figured out that there’s a lot more money in government treasuries than in any bank.
Russian thugs don’t rob banks. They own banks.
Russian “oligarchs” get their money from the government. Publicly owned resources were channeled into their hands after the soviet empire collapsed. And the state’s riches are routinely plundered by Putin and his pals.
So, I wonder, could these international mobsters be operating in America?
As I hear MSNBC TV’s Rachel Maddow examine the complex financial dealings of Paul Manafort, for instance, I seem to detect shadowy figures lurking in the background. Where did all that money go? Why is Manafort desperate for cash when he is supposed to have pocketed so many millions?
Did he blow it all – and more – on fancy homes, oriental rugs, fine art and high living? Or was he merely a pass-through for others who remain nameless?
And how many of America’s politicians have links to organized crime figures?
Trump’s dealings with members of the American Mafia and Russian mobsters are publicly documented. Senator Marco Rubio has relatives linked to the infamous “cocaine cowboys.”
I wonder how many “representatives of the people” have similar associations.
It’s apparent that international mobsters have infiltrated America’s financial system. Have they also infiltrated America’s government?
I don’t suppose I will ever know. And perhaps I am better off not knowing.