Is there anyone left who doesn’t think Wall Street has a culture of corruption? Even the President of the New York Federal Reserve William Dudley, a former Chief Economist at Goldman Sachs, has now critiqued Wall Street’s open contempt for the rule of law. Dudley claimed the banksters have displayed “deep-seated cultural and ethical failures.”

This is apparently news to the NY Fed.

William Dudley, one of the nation’s top banking regulators whose organization helps oversee Wall Street banks including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, made the comment during a speech focused on the problems posed by banks perceived to be “too big to fail,” and possible solutions to correct them.

But in an abrupt turn, Dudley suggested that regulators may be stymied by “cultural” issues that have negatively affected the nation’s biggest banks. “Collectively, these enhancements to our current regime may not solve another important problem evident within some large financial institutions — the apparent lack of respect for law, regulation and the public trust,” he said.

Dudley said he was not completely certain why this culture of corruption existed offering the explanations of bad incentives and overly-complex institutions as possibilities. But Dudley did endorse the Occupy Wall Street view that punishment could serve as a deterrent saying “Tough enforcement and high penalties will certainly help focus management’s attention on this issue.”

Of course NY Fed President Dudley was unwilling to take a more comprehensive look at our rentier economy with Wall Street as a parasite, largely unnecessary if not an obstacle to general prosperity. Nor would Dudley consider that, perhaps, Wall Street is so predatory and transgressive because it is filled with the rich and children of the rich who see it as their birthright to lie, cheat, and steal to advance and maintain their wealth.

No. For Dudley Wall Street’s rampant criminality is quite mysterious. But recognizing a problem is the first step in fixing it. So maybe the President of the New York Fed admitting that Wall Street is filled with crooks is progress?