Programming note: later today, I’ll be hosting a special FDL Salon with William Black, professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. Black specializes in white-collar criminology, and in his time as a federal regulator, he helped put over 1,000 financial executives in jail for the savings & loan crisis.
Needless to say, we don’t have that kind of a regulatory apparatus with that kind of will today. The financial crisis of 2008 was over 70 times the size of the S&L debacle, and yet nobody of consequence has seen jail time for it. In fact, instead of prosecution, we’re seeing settlements where banks don’t have to admit wrongdoing, settlements where banks can profit off of the penalties they’re given, settlements where the banks can pay off some of the penalty with someone else’s money. We’re always told about the next investigation, about the next task force, about the next hope for accountability. Bill Black’s seen this before, and he knows exactly what a federal official with the proper amount of will and resources could actually accomplish on this front.
We’ll be talking today about foreclosure fraud, the recent settlement, and the going-forward task force on securitization issues. And you can catch it at FDL from 2:00pm-3:30pm ET today. Black will be in the comments to answer your questions. I hope you can join us.