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July 31, 2013

Why DOJ Deemed Bank Execs Too Big To Jail

This is the ninth in an 11-part series on the failed promises of the Dodd-Frank financial reform package and the continued, dangerous imbalances in our financial system.

“’You can’t scare me if you can’t jail me.’

If you were a senior bank executive, you might be tempted to at least entertain that thought. You would certainly be very aware that in the past four years, not one banker has gone to jail for anything that led to the great financial meltdown of 2008-2009.

There was little opposition in Congress back in 2009 to strengthening criminal enforcement of federal fraud laws regarding financial institutions, particularly in mortgage and security matters. The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act that I co-sponsored with Senators Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) passed the Senate by a 92-4 vote. The House’s bill passed by a 367-59 margin. I was a real optimist. At the Act’s signing I said, “Today marks a turning point for American confidence in our financial system. Our law enforcement agents and prosecutors will soon have the resources and training they need to find, prosecute, and jail those who committed financial fraud. Those who illegally lined their pockets and left investors–and millions of Americans–with the devastating consequences, will pay the price.’”


Read Ted Kaufman’s full Forbes op ed here

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