Big Banks, Big Governments, Big Business

Governments in both America and England have lately imposed fines on companies about whose practices the governments never previously complained, and in fact benefited from. For example, the tobacco settlement in the US:

Since champerty (an agreement between the plaintiff in a lawsuit and another person, usually an attorney, who agrees to finance and carry the lawsuit) is legal in the United States, though intrinsically corrupt, the chief beneficiary of the litigation against the tobacco companies there were the litigation lawyers. In no case did the lawyers seek to bankrupt the company, or close the company down because of the evil it had done; for he who sues for a reasonable amount lives to sue another day. In effect, this litigation was the means by which the lawyers transferred the profits of the companies, or at least a significant proportion of them, from the shareholders of the companies to themselves.

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