-- by Horatio Algeranon
Untouchable are the bankers
For fraud and other crime.
The fines are barely spankers
And no one does the time.
If there is anyone who actually still believes at this point that high level Wall Street fraud played no significant role in the activities that precipitated the recent Financial Crisis, watch the FRONTLINE piece, The Untouchables.
You might also want to read Explosive Charge: Morgan Stanley Peddled Security Its Own Employee Called ‘Nuclear Holocaust’(ProPublica):
"We are never going to have a full understanding of what bad behavior bankers conducted in the years leading up to the financial crisis. The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have failed to hold big wrongdoers to account....
Hundreds of pages of internal Morgan Stanley documents, released publicly last week, shed much new light on what bankers knew at the height of the housing bubble and what they did with that secret knowledge.The lawsuit concerns a $500 million collateralized debt obligation called Stack 2006-1, created in the first half of 2006. Collections of mortgage-backed securities, C.D.O.'s were at the heart of the financial crisis.But the documents suggest a pattern of behavior larger than this one deal: People across the bank understood that the American housing market was in trouble. They took advantage of that knowledge to create and then bet against securities and then also to unload garbage investments on unsuspecting buyers." -- Jesse Eisinger (ProPublica)
And the NY Times Editorial Too Big To Indict:
"It is a dark day for the rule of law. Federal and state authorities have chosen not to indict HSBC, the London-based bank, on charges of vast and prolonged money laundering, for fear that criminal prosecution would topple the bank and, in the process, endanger the financial system. They also have not charged any top HSBC banker in the case, though it boggles the mind that a bank could launder money as HSBC did without anyone in a position of authority making culpable decisions.Clearly, the government has bought into the notion that too big to fail is too big to jail. "