And the New Job Holders Have to be Ex Cons!
Signs of renewed life in the economy are everywhere, and in the Wall Street Journal a feature story on Garrett Bauer illustrates how new industries are born every day. Mr. Bauer is not a nice person, in fact he is not even an honest person. Actually he is a very dishonest person, a downright crook.
Mr. Bauer admitted in federal court in
New Jersey in December to taking part in a $37 million insider-trading scheme that spanned 17 years while he worked at various proprietary trading firms in . He pleaded guilty to securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and obstruction of justice. Manhattan
So why the feature story? After all the legal issues surrounding Mr. Bauer are fairly commonplace these days, in fact a Mr. Bauer type seems to be in the news daily. But it turns out that Mr. Bauer is part of the inspiration for and the customer of a new business.
Advising panicky white-collar criminals on what life is like behind bars is a bull-market business, what with all the arrests on Wall Street for insider trading.
As America's lockups have become more crowded, so has the prison-prep industry, a field built for white-collar criminals with the means to pay for lessons on coping with strip searches and with getting along with a tattooed cellmate named Bubba.
Yes!, with so many Wall Street type people and government officials going to jail a new business has sprung up, advising the soon to be convicts how to survive prison. And since the teachers must have hands-on (pardon the pun) experience they must be the convicted felons who are now released and eager to pass on their knowledge to the soon to be convicts.
Some consulting companies boast flashy websites, with media clips of their founders and toll-free numbers. "I Helped 100's During My 10 Years on the Inside…1998 To 2007," says the website of Larry Levine, the burly founder of Wall Street Prison Consultants, which includes videos of him wearing sunglasses indoors. "Now I Can Help You, Too!"
So what is there to learn? Well there is the lingo for one, a newbie doesn’t want to stand out for not understanding or even worse, get into trouble for misunderstanding.
The schooling for incoming inmates includes lingo. A "cheese eater" is an informant. A "blanket party" is throwing a blanket over an inmate then beating him. "Diesel therapy" is when troublemaking inmates are shackled and driven around in the back of a prison bus. Misbehave often, and you risk taking a trip to the "SHU"—the Special Housing Unit—also known as "the hole" or solitary confinement.
And for reasons totally beyond the understanding of The Dismal Political Economist, for some reason canned fish is prized in prison and even functions as a sort of currency.
In a small reminder of his old life, Mr. Bauer also learned that he may still be able to trade to get things he needs: In exchange for $15 in canned mackerel a week, other men will make his bed and do his laundry.
Lastly, some things require no explanation and others require some explanation. For this there is no explanation.
"Don't ever sit on another man's bunk," Gator said sternly, according to Mr. Boyce. Mr. Boyce and his friend both apologized and followed the advice. He also quickly picked up the "courtesy flush."
No we have no idea what a ‘courtesy flush’ is. Or why one has to do it. Furthermore, speculation is not a good idea in this instance.