How to Crash an Economy and Escape the Scene
Is it time to put the Great Recession behind us?
Not in terms of the economy — which remains bogged down with high unemployment, low growth and other aftershocks — but rather when it comes to demanding a rigorous effort to hold Wall Street bankers, traders and executives accountable for their role in causing the financial crisis.
Should we just chalk it up to such simplified explanations as “animal spirits ran amok” and “these things happen occasionally”? Or should we continue to expend scarce political and law-enforcement resources trying to get to the bottom of what happened, and why, with a goal of holding the right people legally and financially accountable?
It’s a conundrum, especially since many Americans have lost enthusiasm for the fight. But the path we ultimately take will reveal to us and the world much about who we are as a people and what ethics, values and morality we stand for. It will also have serious lasting implications if we hope to avoid a rerun of what happened over the last five years.
At the moment, the message we are broadcasting far and wide is: There will be no justice; there will be no accountability; let’s return to the status quo as quickly as possible.