Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wall Street & White-Collar Crime

With looming financial disaster hanging over the country, and more than $700 billion being targeted for a "bailout" on Wall Street, it seems good news that an FBI criminal investigation has begun to see how much (if any) of this catastrophe was caused by criminal actions.

The FBI is investigating whether fraud played a role in the troubles at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and American International Group, bringing to 26 the number of bureau investigations of institutions tied to the mortgage debacle, according to two sources familiar with the developments.

At the same time, the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened more than 50 investigations into disclosure and valuation of housing-related investments at banks, insurers and credit-rating agencies, Chairman Christopher Cox told the Senate Banking Committee yesterday.
It only makes sense, really, that if the taxpayers are going to be asked to cough up nearly a trillion dollars to stave off "another Great Depression," we at least know how much of this was "accidental"( as most of the major players seem to allege), and how much was, in fact, the result of criminal negligence.

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