When do the prosecutions begin?

November 18, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

In the St. Louis alternative newspaper, The Riverfront Times, James Lieber sizes up the prosecutions now underway for the economic collapse. Oh, wait. There aren’t any prosecutions:

As it stands now, there is only one federal prosecution related to the credit crash and bailout cycle, and it was begun by the Bush administration’s Justice Department in June 2008.

Not that there aren’t culprits. Bernie Madoff and other accused Ponzi schemers like Allen Stanford are mere pickpockets compared with Wall Street’s institutional buccaneers, who so far have carted off up to $12.7 trillion — that’s nearly equal to the entire gross domestic product. They’ve multiplied their booty with billions in subsidies and a flood of derivatives — some of them merely old soured wine in new bottles. Today’s pirates are sailing away from the light regulatory scrutiny that apparently will continue in our benighted, weakened, financially top-heavy and bubble-addicted economy. [Former regulator William] Black says Obama’s current efforts are doomed to fail — and, in a twist, it’s for lack of trying. “There is not a single successful regulator giving him advice,” Black notes.

I’ve posted about William Black previously. Lieber describes him as follows: “a Ph.D. criminologist and lead lawyer at the Office of Thrift Supervision, who helped steer the brilliant federal effort that cleaned up the S&L industry and won more than 1,000 felony convictions of senior insiders while recovering millions of their ill-gotten dollars.” Black is someone to whom Obama should be listening.  He states that there are two reasons why there aren’t vigorous ongoing prosecutions resulting from this collapse

1) “It’s difficult to prosecute others for securities fraud if you condoned the deals to begin with,”  and

2) Obama administration lacks the will.  Obama was the candidate most preferred by Wall Street and he has surrounded himself with lackeys for big finance, including not only Lawrence Summers and Tim Geithner, but also Attorney General Eric Holder, who has made it clear that white collar crime is something which he’d rather not prosecute.

Keep in mind that “Wall Street’s institutional buccaneers [have] so far have carted off up to $12.7 trillion, and that in 2008, In 2008 American households lost 18 percent of their wealth.   Why aren’t there more prosecutions?  There’s no good reason. This is an excellent in-depth article.   The title:  “No Justice: We’ve bailed out the banks. When do we go after the crooks behind our financial collapse?”


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Category: Economy, Politics, Psychology Cognition

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Tim Hogan says:

    This whole crisis will just be repeated again because the way W and Obama have stacked the deck.

    We, the taxpayers are the payors of last resort, and there's no risk, civilly or criminally for the thieves, jackals and vultures who will pick over the last of the bones of the Middle Class at the end of the next crisis when the whole world is thrown back to feudalism and we are the serfs!

    I won't believe a word any of these guys says until they start locking them up, wholesale! What this country needs is a couple of hundred highly visible Wall Street perp walks to get the economy back on the right track.

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