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Why Haven't Wall Streeters Gone to Jail?
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Time Magazine blog


Time Magazine blog, May 19, 2011
Posted: May 24th, 2011
http://curiouscapitalist.blogs.time.com/2011/05/19/ny-ag-inv...

The New York Attorney General's office has been requesting information from Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley on how they created and structured mortgage bonds at the height of the credit boom. That investigation has reignited questions about why, nearly three years after the financial crisis, no Wall Streeter has yet to face criminal charges directly related to the mortgage bonds and other toxic deals that lead to the financial crisis. No one really knows the answer, but there are a number of theories out there. Here are the best ones: Theory No. 1: Prosecutors have been told to back off. In mid-April, the New York Times did a large investigative piece that found a number of instances where prosecutors were told not to pursue Wall Street. Theory No. 2: Wall Street is innocent. It may seem like the most bizarre answer, but it is getting some traction. No one is really saying that Wall Street didn't do anything wrong. It's clear that setting up risky mortgage bonds to sell to investors and then betting against them yourself is wrong. But is it illegal? It's not quite clear. Theory No. 3: The cases are still in the works. There seems to be some evidence that prosecutors are starting to be more aggressive in pursuing cases. It's not clear what part of the mortgage process, or what potential wrong doing, the NY AG Eric Schneiderman is investigating. The truth is that Wall Streeters rarely go to jail. Yes, other bubbles and financial crises have resulted in numerous convictions, but generally not of Wall Streeters.

Note: Remember that Elliot Spitzer probably got taken down for going after Wall Street. Now his successor, Eric Schneiderman, is doing the same thing. For an excellent article on this brave man, click here.


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