Fraudensheude means “No, we are not all responsible.”
“Whoever commits a fraud is guilty not only of the particular injury to him who he deceives, but of the diminution of that confidence which constitutes not only the ease, but the very existence of a society.” Samuel Johnson
As the hearings and scandals progress, and the revelations and charges start to cut closer to the heart of the credit swindles, inevitably there will be a movement [led by Barack Obama] to say, “We are all responsible. Let’s allow bygones to be bygones, it was all a misunderstanding. Let’s move on to something new. Justice is not important, and cannot be done.”
There will be long accountings of how the problems arose, and how changes in the banking laws, broker deregulation, and the erosion of elite privileges compelled the Wall Street banks to take more and greater risks, to violate unspoken understandings about customer relationships, to take great risks, to bend the laws, to use money and influence to suborn perjury and the breaking of oaths, and to generally undermine the fabric of government.
There will be long analyses that suggest that trust has been lost, the trust that binds the social and financial interactions of people. And there will be an effort to regain that trust, to promise change and reform, and of course, justice.
As for justice they will say, but aren’t we all responsible? Didn’t we all believe the promise that ‘greed is good?’
In contrast to schadenfreude, which means “taking delight in someone else’s misery,” Fraudensheude means, “No, we do not accept responsibility for your acts of fraud.”