In today’s Boston Globe, Cindy Rodriguez, of Emerson College, asks “Will the U.S. Ever Prosecute Criminal Bankers?”
In 2009, President Obama created the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. According to its website, its mission is to “hold accountable those who helped bring about the last financial crisis as well as those who would attempt to take advantage of the efforts at economic recovery.” The task force has charged some bottom feeders, like last Friday’s arrest of a Connecticut woman who allegedly bilked $2 million from elderly people in a Ponzi scheme disguised as an investment.
They also went after the CEO of an Iowa brokerage firm who allegedly embezzled $200 million from customers. The CEO tried to kill himself, but failed. After investigators found his suicide note, in which he gave a detailed admission of his crimes, they charged him on July 13. It helps to have a hand-written confession, of course. Experts say “complex financial instruments” – a polite term for toxic securities – are so confusing that it’s hard to understand how they work, let alone tie them to a particular crime.
Still, investigators couldn’t ferret out a single fat cat from Wall Street?
Instead, we’ve had civil settlements. In February, the White House and state attorneys general agreed to a $25 billion deal with the nation’s five biggest mortgage servicers. There have been other settlements involving other companies, as well. But compared with the damage done to the economy, the amount of money involved is peanuts. And the basic cause of the 2008 financial crash in the United States – the widespread practice, enabled by major financial institutions, of putting people into fraudulent, unsupportable loans – has gone unpunished.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has as its governor a Board Member of one of the worst financial actors, ACC Capital holdings. It is a topic we have covered extensively at Red Mass Group. Including the documented multi-state ethics violations Deval Patrick was allegedly part of.
Ms. Rodriguez, as a journalist, I would be more than happy to sit down with you and walk you through Deval Patrick’s involvement in the destruction of our economy. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.