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January 24, 2013

Better Markets: Crime and No Punishment on Wall Street

“PBS’s Frontline had a terrific show last night called the “Untouchables” and was another report on the fact that not one single Wall Street bank or executive has been criminally prosecuted for any conduct related to the largest financial collapse since the Great Crash of 1929. Watch the show here.

While that’s bad enough, what’s worse is watching the most senior so-called law enforcement officials in our country offer one pathetic excuse after another for why they have so grossly failed to do their job. To non-lawyers or non-professionals, these excuses may seem reasonable or plausible, but frankly none of them withstand the simplest scrutiny. That is why none of those senior officials will subject themselves to a public debate or “unfriendly” audience where real questions — and follow-up questions — are asked and they aren’t allowed to spin or squirm their way out of answering.

The show’s exclusive focus was on criminal prosecution, but the track record of the SEC is even worse in some ways. The SEC pretends to enforce the law on Wall Street with puny slap-on-the-wrist fines (that the biggest banks get to pay with shareholders money and insurance policies) that misleads the public into believing that the SEC is doing their job, while signaling to Wall Street that they have nothing to worry about. Indeed, the SEC has given Wall Street a road map to avoid future liability for their senior executives. As we have detailed, “SEC Enforcement Has Incentivized, Rewarded and Guaranteed More Wall Street Crime.””

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Read Dennis Kelleher’s full blog post in Huffington Post here

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