As economists such as William Black and James Galbraith have repeatedly said, we cannot solve the economic crisis unless we throw the criminals who committed fraud in jail.
And Nobel prize winning economist George Akerlof has demonstrated that failure to punish white collar criminals – and instead bailing them out- creates incentives for more economic crimes and further destruction of the economy in the future.
Fines, even large ones, accomplish nothing. It’s just a cost of doing business. That’s why criminal prosecutions are needed. Many bank execs went to prison during the S&L scandal of the 1980’s. But there have been virtually no criminal prosecutions against those who engineered the subprime boom and resulting collapse, profiting mightily from it.
Oh, that’s right. Obama was backed early and with many millions by investment banks, wasn’t he?