Leon Dim and the American Tradition of Impunity
After a One year of mounting stress from traders and exterior critics, Leon Dim, the billionaire chief government of personal fairness extensive Apollo Global Management, announced on Monday that he would step down later this One year. Curiously the revelation that Dim gave $158 million to deceased intercourse trafficker Jeffrey Epstein for supposed monetary recommendation become as soon as ample to tag an inside rebellion among Apollo’s leadership. Per The Contemporary York Times, which beforehand dubbed Dim “the billionaire who stood by Jeffrey Epstein,” a fellow Apollo co-founder wished Dim to step down straight. Dim refused however later agreed to relinquish the CEO seat while closing chairman of the firm’s board. He space his departure date as sometime sooner than July 31, when he turns 70. And in a fashioned gesture of billionaire contrition for an association he insists become as soon as honorable, he’ll donate $200 million to “girls folk’s initiatives,” in step with The Wall Avenue Journal.
Leon Dim’s no longer-pretty drop from grace is emblematic of what passes for elite accountability in this country. Leaving on his bear phrases, his fortune intact, slightly untouched by lawful concerns, peaceful wielding the chairmanship of the firm he founded—things could infrequently be better for a man who maintained a finish monetary relationship, if no longer more, with a convicted pedophile. He could lose a couple of social invitations, possibly relish his title taken off a building he donated to some nonprofit institution, however Leon Dim may per chance be merely elegant. He now belongs in the busy pantheon of American elites who suffered no proper consequences for their alleged crimes or traumatic associations. (It goes almost unsaid that Dim’s bear exchange history as a vulture capitalist and proprietor of Constellis, a non-public militia firm descended from Blackwater, also deserves scrutiny that can by no design reach.)
What exactly did Dim win from Jeffrey Epstein? Per the investigation by regulations firm Dechert LLP, Dim “believed, and witnesses in general agreed, that Epstein supplied recommendation that conferred bigger than $1 billion and as remarkable as $2 billion or more” in tax advantages, the Journal reported. It’s laborious to agree with, even even as you haven’t followed the Epstein saga, that one individual’s monetary recommendation could also very well be price so remarkable. And but this is the legend instructed by diversified billionaires, a lot like Les Wexner, who gave Epstein adjust over his entire fortune and talented him the costliest apartment in Long island; or Invoice Gates, for whom Epstein consulted on charitable contributions. By some capacity Epstein, whom some victims said they by no design noticed work, become as soon as in a position to giving preternaturally appropriate, spectacularly helpful monetary recommendation that, in flip, earned him ample money to finance decades of sexual violence. But clearly, Epstein’s associates and purchasers were ignorant—unnerved, totally unnerved—in regards to the dim underbelly of his design of life.
What’s particularly galling is that we’re purported to agree with this legend: that Epstein become as soon as both a monetary savant and perfectly in a position to hiding his rotten (and day-to-day) crimes from the diverse well off and infamous folk he knew. The investigation into Leon Dim’s association with Epstein become as soon as conducted by the roughly clean, prestigious firm that focuses on whitewashing allegations in opposition to infamous males. Again and again, in universities, publicly traded companies, arts establishments, government companies, and in diversified areas, we relish got seen the identical sample play out. A regulations firm or investigator is introduced in, and a few months later a document appears that acknowledges some lapse in judgment however by no design—ever—anything deserving termination, remarkable less prosecution. In connection to Epstein, Harvard and the MIT Media Lab relish followed in most cases this playbook.
Dim’s legend is such as that of ancient President Invoice Clinton, one other honest appropriate friend of Epstein whose history of rape allegations and rumored relationship with Epstein madame Ghislaine Maxwell relish perfect a little bit of diminished his public reputation. At President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Clinton mingled with ease with ancient President George W. Bush, whose résumé of war crimes and public deceptions infrequently needs reciting, and with ancient President Barack Obama, who expanded the drone program, assassinated American voters, and contributed to the devastation of Libya and Yemen, among diversified militia feats. Clinton and Bush, in explicit, were well on their manner to reputational rehabilitation sooner than Donald Trump’s murderous presidency. Now they can take pride in the adulation of a relieved public that either doesn’t be aware their crimes or doesn’t care.
Elite impunity would be one of the defining points of The usa’s tilt toward oligarchy. The list of most trendy examples is kind of limitless: a lack of prosecutions for the 2008 monetary crisis or any crimes of the Bush years; Donald Trump’s plenty of unpunished lies and crimes; the refusal to censure or expel Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, or any diversified baby-kisser who supported the Capitol rebellion; Trump’s kids strolling some distance from the administration’s wreckage more extremely effective than they were four years ago; the habitual exoneration of extremely effective males accused of sexual harassment or assault. We relish become inured to the blaring irony of, divulge, Contemporary York Governor Andrew Cuomo writing a e book on excellence in governance while overseeing thousands of deaths, followed by a botched vaccine rollout.
The ultrarich and the ultrapowerful are diversified from you and me. They win away with things lets by no design agree with. Most People can perfect think as reputations are laundered, crimes erased or denied in a haze of legalese, victims quietly paid off, the total mess disregarded as the center-broken judgment of a man responsible better of being too trusting. The dissonance between this legend and the evident, however possibly legally unprovable, truth could peaceful ring loudly in the general public mind. Perchance, with ample of these examples of egregious injustice, the calls for for accountability for folk relish Leon Dim could commence up to topic. But no longer but.