No Prosecutions on Wall Street
Where is the poster child of last year’s financial meltdown? Unlike previous economic crises, the 2008 Wall Street disaster has to yield any prosecutions of those responsible for playing fast-and-loose with the nation’s fiscal life-blood. The Great Depression had electricity and railroad magnate Samuel Insull, the 1980s’ savings and loan crisis had banker Charles Keating, and the Enron fiasco had CEO Kenneth Lay. Some might argue that Bernie Madoff is the symbol of last year’s collapse, but the Ponzi scheme architect was more representative of the excesses of Wall Street than a trigger for its collapse.
The debacle of 2008 might yet produce convictions of some higher profile players from among the numerous civil and class-action lawsuits currently in courts across the country. One possible candidate is Angelo Mozilo, the former CEO of mortgage-lender Countrywide, who has been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of insider trading and of misleading investors. Another candidate is former Bear Stearns investment fund founder Ralph Cioffi and his fund manager Matthew Tannin, who have been charged with defrauding investors.
Why Haven't Any Wall Street Tycoons Been Sent to the Slammer? (by Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers)
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