“Criminal prosecutions of banks? Zero. Criminal prosecutions of senior financial executives related to the bubble? Zero. RICO cases, such as were used against Michael Milken and are routinely used against drug dealers and other organized criminals to seize their assets and forfeit their ill-gotten gains? Zero. Sarbanes-Oxley prosecutions, based on CEOs’ certification of obviously fraudulent financial statements? Zero. In Mr. Obama’s three years in office, not a single U.S. bank or senior financial executive has been convicted of any crime (or even prosecuted), or had their assets confiscated.”
Let Them Eat Task Forces
In his State of the Union speech, President Obama said and proposed many reasonable-sounding things. One of them was this:
We’ll also establish a Financial Crimes Unit of highly trained investigators to crack down on large-scale fraud… financial firms violate major anti-fraud laws because there’s no real penalty for being a repeat offender… So pass legislation that makes the penalties for fraud count.
And tonight, I’m asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorney general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis.
Now, how could you be against that? In his speech, and indeed as has been true for his entire career, Mr. Obama deserves an A for rhetoric. But what grade does he deserve for action? Alas, he flunks.
Read the rest here…