“Let us assume that the Justice Department vastly would have preferred to prosecute Goldman Sachs for its shady dealings in peddling toxic mortgages during the real estate boom, rather than put out the statement it issued late Thursday saying in essence, ‘Never mind, and enjoy the Hamptons.'”
“Let us assume this, because the visuals of not prosecuting are bad for nearly everyone involved. The failure to prosecute enhances the public perception that ordinary people got screwed during the real estate bubble, while savvy Wall Street executives loaded money bags onto private jets and decamped to comfortable islands.”
“Had prosecutors at Justice been able to make a good case — a case likely to put some Goldman people behind bars — they would have done so, because the deterrent effect of American law enforcement in the next financial orgy that inevitably lies ahead is looking mighty weak. A prominent win for the prosecutors might have helped.”
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