Simple. Neither acted alone nor in unexpected ways within their social, professional circles. In other words, there is never just one cockroach in the house. It's something I saw time and again as a financial journalist amid one scandal and crisis after another: Beyond the scape-roach in the headlines, others were scuttling around in the background. So when you hear about some low-level employee stealing company funds, it's likely something similar is happening higher up. Whether it's a Goldman Sachs secretary embezzling or British TV star Jimmy Savile molesting children or billionaire financier Jeffery Epstein pimping out girls, other higher ups are likely involved. No man is an island. The only way such crimes and horrors go undetected in the public eye for years and years is precisely because there is a network of people participating, sharing, and building walls of protection around each other.
The pattern is laid bare in New York Magazine's July 27, 2015 cover story in which 35 of 46 of the women abused by Cosby speak in their own words about their experiences. The article is a compilation of many accounts that had initially been relayed piecemeal (see "Rabbit Hole", Nov 25, 2014). It's the only way the 24-hour journalism world knows how to report: In clinical drip-feeds that inevitably lose not just our empathy but make it difficult to connect dots in any logical way. But New York Magazine restores both. We feel what these women went through on a canvas big enough to get a sense of the whole picture. We see the larger pattern, which is that Cosby got by with a lot of help from his friends. Hugh Hefner's fingerprints, for instance, are all over this. Again, it's never just one or two cockroaches in the mansion.
Several weeks earlier, over in London, Iksil was absolved of both fines and an industry ban, with UK regulators dropping his case altogether. Instead, Iksil's boss has been the one criminally charged in the US for securities fraud, of deliberately hiding hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. 'Management failings' at JP Morgan has cost its parent Chase bank nearly $1 billion in fines in the UK and US since 2013. Not exactly 'a tempest in a teapot' as JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon commented when some of the losses initially went public. The scary thing is that Dimon may have meant it, just like Cosby when he breezily answered questions in a deposition. When one of the plaintiff's lawyers told him he was making light of a very serious situation, he said: "That may very well be." Because that's just how stuff happens in Roach Motel.