Brooksley Born | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

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Criminal Affirmance: Going Beyond the Deterrence Paradigm to Examine the Social Meaning Expressed by Exercising Discretion to Decline Prosecution of Elite Crime

Criminal Affirmance: Going Beyond the Deterrence Paradigm to Examine the Social Meaning Expressed by Exercising Discretion to Decline Prosecution of Elite Crime


Professor Mary K. Ramirez*, Washburn University School of Law

*Professor Ramirez is a thirteen-year veteran of the Department of Justice, having worked as a Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas, and as a Trial Attorney for the DOJ Antitrust Division.

Abstract

Criminal Affirmance: Going Beyond the Deterrence Paradigm to Examine the Social Meaning Expressed by Exercising Discretion to Decline Prosecution of Elite Crime

Professor Mary Kreiner Ramirez

Article Abstract Recent financial scandals and the relative paucity of criminal prosecutions in response suggest a new reality in the criminal law system: some wrongful actors appear above the law and immune from criminal prosecution. As such, the criminal prosecutorial system affirms much of the wrongdoing giving rise to the crisis. This leaves the same elites undisturbed at the apex of the financial sector, and creates perverse incentives for any successors. Further, this undermines the legitimacy of the rule of law and encourages even more lawlessness among the entire population. These considerations transcend deterrence as well as retribution as a traditional basis for criminal punishment. Affirmance is far more costly and dangerous with respect to the crimes of powerful elites that control large organizations than can be accounted for under traditional nations of deterrence. Few limits are placed on a prosecutor’s discretionary decision about whom to prosecute, and many factors against prosecution are available, especially in resource-intensive white collar crime prosecutions. This article asserts that prosecutors should not exercise that discretion without considering its potential affirmance of crime.

[ipaper docId=57172143 access_key=key-1uhrrfzjkgrqacwy5znf height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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Derivatives Warning – Michael Greenberger interview

Derivatives Warning – Michael Greenberger interview


Pay close attention…We know who should be held accountable for this mess we are in today! How convenient for Greenspan to get out when he did…CRIMINAL!

This is a collection of soundbites from Prof. Michael Greenberger from the University of Maryland School of Law who was interviewed for a PBS FRONTLINE program concerning Brooksley Born, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, who attempted to regulate the secretive, multitrillion-dollar derivatives market whose crash helped trigger the 2008 financial collapse.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLzuTxhhklY]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-kExdTgNZA]

THE WARNING: Long before the meltdown, one woman tried to warn about a threat to the financial system.

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What happened to the global economy and what we can do about it: The Baseline Scenario

What happened to the global economy and what we can do about it: The Baseline Scenario


Our Pecora Moment

By Simon Johnson

We have waited long and patiently for our Ferdinand Pecora moment – a modern equivalent of the episode when a tough prosecutor from New York seized the imagination of the country in the early 1930s and, over a series of congressional hearings: laid bare the wrong-doings of Wall Street in simple and vivid terms that everyone could understand, and created the groundswell of public support necessary for comprehensive reregulation.  On Friday, that moment finally arrived.

There is fraud at the heart of Wall Street, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Pecora took on National City Bank and J.P. Morgan (the younger); these were the supposedly untouchable titans of their day.  The SEC is taking on Goldman Sachs; no firm is more powerful.

Pecora exposed the ways in which leading banks mistreated their customers – typically, retail investors.  The SEC alleges, with credible detail, that Goldman essentially set up some trusting clients and deliberately misled them – to the tune of effectively transferring $1 billion from them to a particular unscrupulous investor.

Pecora had the drama of the congressional hearing room and used his skills as an interrogator to batter the bastions of Wall Street, day-after-day, with gruesome and convincing detail.  We don’t know where and when, but the SEC action points in one direction only: Lloyd Blankfein (CEO of Goldman) in the witness box, while John Paulson (unindicted co-conspirator) waits in the on-deck circle.

Either Blankfein knew what was going on – and is therefore liable before the law – or he was clueless and therefore incompetent.  Either way, the much vaunted risk management and control systems of Goldman, i.e., what is supposed to prevent this kind of thing from happening, are exposed to be what we have long here claimed: bunk (as I argued with Gerry Corrigan, former head of the NY Fed and long-time Goldman executive, before the Senate Banking Committee when we both testified on the Volcker Rules in February).

 “Too big and complex to manage” is actually the best defense for Goldman’s executives and they should offer to break up the firm into smaller and more transparent pieces as a way to settle the firm’s liability with the SEC.  The current management of Goldman – along with the team that ran the firm under Hank Paulson – have destroyed the value of an illustrious franchise.  Goldman used to stand for something that customers felt they could trust; now it is just a sophisticated way of ripping them off.

John Paulson obviously knew what he was doing in helping to create the “designed to fail” securities – and the consequences this would have.  If he cannot be convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud, then the law in this regard needs to be tightened significantly.  The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, chaired by Phil Angelides, is probably already planning to grill John Paulson about his taxes – the point Pecora made in this regard with J.P. Morgan junior was most telling and gripped the nation; it turned out that Morgan hardly paid any tax.  I would respectfully suggest that the Angelides Commission also pull in Hank Paulson and pursue a similar line of questioning with him – when it focuses on how much money Hank Paulson made, and how little tax he paid, while building and overseeing an extortion scheme of grand proportions, America will scream.

We have something today that Pecora did not have – the pattern of behavior is already established, if not yet widely comprehended.  Senator Levin’s recent grilling of WaMu revealed another layer of deliberate mistreatment of consumers within the mortgage industry.  The Valukas report on the failure of Lehman exposed exactly how investors are misled by balance sheet manipulation in its most modern and insidious form.  And we have learned more than enough about Goldman misleading investors over Greek debt levels.

Brooksley Born was right, a very long time ago, to fear the “dark markets” of over-the-counter derivatives and what those would bring.

Senator Ted Kaufman was right.  Just a few weeks ago, he argued strongly from the Senate floor that there is fraud at the heart of Wall Street.  Even some people who are generally sympathetic to his critique of modern financial practices thought perhaps that this specific notion was pushing the frontier.  But now they get it – and today Ted Kaufman is more than mainstream; he is the public figure who made everything crystal clear.

When you deliberately withhold adverse material information from customers, that is fraud.  When you do this on a grand scale, the full weight of the law will come down on you and the people who supposedly supervised you.  And if the weight of that law is no longer sufficient to deal with – and to prevent going forward – the latest forms of very old and reprehensible crimes, then it is again time to change the law.

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THE WARNING: Long before the meltdown, one woman tried to warn about a threat to the financial system.

THE WARNING: Long before the meltdown, one woman tried to warn about a threat to the financial system.


This is courtesy of PBS FRONTLINE: THE WARNING

“We didn’t truly know the dangers of the market, because it was a dark market,” says Brooksley Born, the head of an obscure federal regulatory agency — the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC] — who not only warned of the potential for economic meltdown in the late 1990s, but also tried to convince the country’s key economic powerbrokers to take actions that could have helped avert the crisis. “They were totally opposed to it,” Born says. “That puzzled me. What was it that was in this market that had to be hidden?”

To watch the rest of the video you can go to PBS

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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