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'Frontline' Learns Firsthand Why Wall Street Is 'Untouchable'

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Comments (19)
There are two reasons we don't name names. First, we don't know many of the names because we do not have access to them. Second, we have libel laws. You can't call people criminals without exposing yourself to vicious and destructive litigation. The second problem is exacerbated by the repeated statements from the Obama Administration that there was recklessness or negligence, but no intentional fraud.
Posted by masaccio | Tuesday, January 22 2013 at 3:46PM ET
History repeats itself. When government holds bankers to task, like Charles Keating in the 1980s tax payer bailout/savings and loan scandal, there will always be some politicos trying to prevent regulators from acting in the public's interest, instead of the criminals (see Keating Five's John McCain). I recall that Angelo Mozillo had lots of friends too.
Posted by andkel | Tuesday, January 22 2013 at 4:03PM ET
The hard thing to understand is how a company like Countrywide could pump so many bad assets into the securitization markets without violating the securities laws. A recent report on 60 Minutes said a third of the outstanding loans made by Countrywide were in default or foreclosure. That is an astonishing number if it is true. And, if it is true, I cannot understand how the risks in those loans could have been adequately disclosed to investors or how rating agencies could rate them investment grade. That is where the system broke down causing the Great Recession and where policy makers should be paying the most attention. If that doesn't violate the securities laws the laws need to be fixed.
Posted by gsutton | Tuesday, January 22 2013 at 4:46PM ET
Last night's edition of Frontline showed that Wall Street firms and their staff are "Untouchable." Absolutely shocking to see the case against the banks that precipitated the Financial Crisis laid out so thoroughly, along with the proactive ineptitude of the government in holding them accountable. Clearly a case of the government working against the best interests of its citizens. Stark contrast to a government that sent over 1,000 bankers to jail for their roles in the S&L Crisis.
Posted by jim_wells | Wednesday, January 23 2013 at 7:08AM ET
Having watched the program last night, one explanation for the lack of prosecutions is obvious: the decicison makers at the DOJ are cautious to the point of cowardice. Heads should roll not just among the banksters, but at the Justice Dept. To the extent still possible new and more aggressive blood should be brought in to go after prosecutions. Elliot Spitzer's not doing much, why not give somebody of his proven skills a shot?
Posted by j.doe | Wednesday, January 23 2013 at 10:33AM ET
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