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“Two-Out-Of-Three Americans (66%) Believe the Federal Government Has Not Been Aggressive Enough In Pursuing Possible Criminal Behavior By Some Wall Street Bankers”

Two-Out-Of-Three Americans (66%) Believe the Federal Government Has Not Been Aggressive Enough In Pursuing Possible Criminal Behavior By Some Wall Street Bankers

By WashingtonsBlog
washingtonsblog.com

Top Economists and Financial Experts – and Two-Thirds of the American People – Demand Prosecutions for Banker Fraud

A poll last month from Rassmussen found:

Two-out-of-three Americans (66%) believe the federal government has not been aggressive enough in pursuing possible criminal behavior by some Wall Street bankers ….

Top economists and financial experts agree that our economy will never recover unless Wall Street fraud is prosecuted. See this and this.

But – because D.C. politicians are prostitutes (Johns, technically) – the government has made it official policy not to prosecute fraud, and instead to do everything necessary to cover up for Wall Street. Indeed, Obama is prosecuting fewer financial crimes than under Reagan or either Bush.

As I noted in August:

William K. Black professor of economics and law, and the senior regulator during the’S & L crisis says that that the government’s entire strategy now as during the’S&L crisis is to cover up how bad things are:

The entire strategy is to keep people from getting the facts.

***

I noted last year:

It is not only a matter of covering up fraud that has already happened. The government also created an environment which greatly encouraged fraud.

Here are just a few of many potential examples:

  • Business Week wrote on May 23, 2006:

President George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations.

  • Tim Geithner was complicit in Lehman’s accounting fraud, (and see this), and pushed to pay AIG’s CDS counterparties at full value, and then to keep the deal secret. And as Robert Reich notes, Geithner was very much in the center of the action regarding the secret bail out of Bear Stearns without Congressional approval. William Black points out: Mr. Geithner, as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since October 2003, was one of those senior regulators who failed to take any effective regulatory action to prevent the crisis, but instead covered up its depth
  • The former chief accountant for the SEC says that Bernanke and Paulson broke the law and should be prosecuted
  • The government knew about mortgage fraud a long time ago. For example, the FBI warned of an epidemic of mortgage fraud in 2004. However, the FBI, DOJ and other government agencies then stood down and did nothing. See this and this. For example, the Federal Reserve turned its cheek and allowed massive fraud, and the SEC has repeatedly ignored accounting fraud. Indeed, Alan Greenspan took the position that fraud could never happen
  • Bernanke might have broken the law by letting unemployment rise in order to keep inflation low
  • Paulson and Bernanke falsely stated that the big banks receiving Tarp money were healthy, when they were not
  • Of course, deregulation by Larry Summers, Robert Rubin, Phil Gramm and many other high-level politicians and regulators also helped to grease the skids for fraud

Economist James K. Galbraith wrote in the introduction to his father, John Kenneth Galbraith’s, definitive study of the Great Depression, The Great Crash, 1929:

***

This was fraud, perpetrated in the first instance by the government on the population, and by the rich on the poor.

***

The government that permits this to happen is complicit in a vast crime.

In other words, the fraud started at the very top with Greenspan, Bush, Paulson, Negraponte, Bernanke, Geithner, Rubin, Summers and all of the rest of the boys.

And Europe is no better.

On the other hand, Iceland – which is prosecuting banking fraud at the CEO level (see this and this) – is recovering more quickly.

View the original article at Washingtons Blog

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