Will “they” ever be prosecuted? You know “they”. “They” created the derivatives monster that threatens to destroy our economy. “They” got their profits, while sticking “us” with the bill for bailing them out when their bets went South. Some of “they” have merely a year left to wait out the statute of limitations that would free them from the possibility of future prosecution for their role in the economic collapse. Will “they” all escape justice entirely?
In this 25 minute video, People & Power: Prosecuting Wall St., this question is explored in detail, as Bob Abeshouse of AlJazeera explains:
Americans across the political spectrum believe that financial executives should have gone to jail for the practices that led to the collapse, but there have been no significant prosecutions. People & Power investigates why Wall Street has not been held accountable for crimes connected to the deepest recession since the Great Depression.
Abeshouse further explains:
Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign expenditures and lobbying expenditures, says it is hard not to associate “the incredible clout that Goldman Sachs wields in Washington with decisions that favour their interests”.
Krumholz says it is both the money and the connections – the financial industry has spent more than $5bn on lobbying and campaign contributions to both Democrats and Republicans in the last decade. And the revolving door means that government officials find it difficult to view the leaders of companies where they have worked or have friends “as being capable of criminal acts”.
Former Securities and Exchange Commission investigator Gary Aguirre argues that the main reason there have been no prosecutions is because of the revolving door.
Regulators are reluctant to pursue cases that could cost them a private sector job with a starting salary of $2m – 10 times their salary with the government.
“If you are a team player and these cases don’t get brought,” he says, “then maybe there’ll be room for you at one of the big law firms or Goldman, or one of the big banks.”
This “revolving door” is at the core of the problem with our financial system and associated regulatory apparatus, and is facilitating the pillaging and plundering of the American treasury, as well as enabling it to continue at an ever-accelerating rate.
We will not have justice under this system, until this revolving door is closed forever, then the regulators will start regulating again.