Finally, Wall Street gets put on trial: We can still hold the 0.1 percent responsible for tanking the economy

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Finally, Wall Street gets put on trial: We can still hold the 0.1 percent responsible for tanking the economy

Finally, Wall Street gets put on trial: We can still hold the 0.1 percent responsible for tanking the economy

Too Big To Fail bailouts let them get away with it. The amazing result of California fraud trial could change that


SALON-

The Tea Party regards Barack Obama as a kind of devil figure, but when it comes to hunting down the fraudsters responsible for the economic disaster of the last six years, his administration has stuck pretty close to the Tea Party script. The initial conservative reaction to the disaster, you will recall, was to blame the crisis on the people at the bottom, on minorities and proletarians lost in an orgy of financial misbehavior. Sure enough, when taking on ordinary people who got loans during the real-estate bubble, the president’s Department of Justice has shown admirable devotion to duty, filing hundreds of mortgage-fraud cases against small-timers.

But high-ranking financiers? Obama’s Department of Justice has thus far shown virtually no interest in holding leading bankers criminally accountable for what went on in the last decade. That is ruled out not only by the Too Big to Jail doctrine that top-ranking Obama officials have hinted at, but also by the same logic that inspires certain conservative thinkers—that financiers simply could not have committed fraud, since you would expect fraud to result in riches and instead so many banks went out of business.

“Benjamin Wagner, a U.S. Attorney who is actively prosecuting mortgage fraud cases in Sacramento, Calif., points out that banks lose money when a loan turns out to be fraudulent,” reported a now-famous 2010 story in the Huffington Post. “But convincing a jury that executives intended to make fraudulent loans, and thus should be held criminally responsible, may be too difficult of a hurdle for prosecutors. ‘It doesn’t make any sense to me that they would be deliberately defrauding themselves,’ Wagner said.”

[SALON]

Image Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas/AP/Eric Risberg

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One Response to “Finally, Wall Street gets put on trial: We can still hold the 0.1 percent responsible for tanking the economy”

  1. elexquisitor says:

    This is the link to the full article
    http://www.salon.com/2014/09/07/finally_wall_street_gets_put_on_trial_we_can_still_hold_the_0_1_percent_responsible_for_tanking_the_economy/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

    Search for “black” to get to the meat of the article – Bill Black’s expert testimony in the Sacramento case.

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