The Code of Hammurabi, more than 3,700 years ago, stipulated that any Mesopotamian who violated the terms of a financial contract - including the futures contracts that were commonly used in commodities trading in Babylon - "shall be put to death as a thief." ...In medieval Catalonia, a banker who went bust wasn't merely humiliated by town criers who declaimed his failure in public squares throughout the land; he had to live on nothing but bread and water until he paid off his depositors in full. If, after a year, he was unable to repay, he would be executed... But financial crimes weren't merely punished; they were stigmatized...Contrast that with our modern societies where "punishment" for so-called white-collar crime is (at worst) nothing but a slap on the wrist in comparison to punishment handed out for blue-collar crime: the crimes of the Little People. The entire basis of this two-tier justice was the presumption (never supported with evidence) that the rich did not require as much deterrence from crime as the poor, and thus the sentences for their misdeeds did not need to be as severe.
Crime of the Millennium
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