I am overdue with an apology to the police. In the past I have directed criticism at them over unprosecuted financial crime. I now realize that they themselves are victims of budget shortfalls, and indirectly, of the very financial crime and abuse that I study.
For example, a report by the Small Investor Protection Association, www.sipa.ca titled “Advisor Title Trickery,” shows that more than 27,000 persons in Alberta are licensed in a “salesperson” category of registration, while they advertise something entirely different to investors.
This matters because the retirement security of Canadians can be shortchanged by 50 per cent or 60 per cent, by tiny fees, commissions and costs that salespersons (a.k.a. advisors) apply, while licensed fiduciary “advisers” (spelled “adviser”) cannot legally act against an investor’s interests.
In 2008 the City of Lethbridge lost about $30 million tax dollars, taking advice from a person licensed as a salesperson. A Lethbridge Herald article Jan. 13, 2009 said these losses would be converted to longer-term notes which mature in 2016. I do not believe this return of money has occurred.
With budgets impacted by loss, police are less able to stop the deceptions that shortchange their own budgets, nor the losses of millions of Canadian investors who are similarly deceived by salespersons on commission.
All “other” crime in Canada totals approximately $50 billion, according to Stats Canada and Justice Canada, while single systemic financial crimes can approach this number.
In Lethbridge’s example, the sale of sub-prime investments (without legally required ratings) lost $35 billion for society, including the millions lost to the city. The Public Service Pension Plan lost $2 billion. This is the plan for retired judges and RCMP officers. Imagine if a judge had personally invested in these products, they could have lost money three times – once in their city taxes lost, second in their pension plan losses, and third with their own investment. Zero criminal charges.
This takes us back to police in Canada; with nearly zero in funds to pursue systemic white-collar crime, they must also handle the additional street crimes, caused by our “risk-free” white-collar crime.
I began with an apology to the police for my critique of them, and I repeat my apology. All Canadians, including police and judges, are victims of systemic financial failures.
Tell your MLA or MP to investigate clever abuses and regulatory failures designed by our financial industry.