And not one bankster went to jail, not one
A year and a half ago, when some of us were expecting a return to whatever the path of potential output was by 2017, our guess was that the Great Recession would wind up costing the North Atlantic in lost production about 80% of one year’s output–call it $13 trillion. Today a five-year return to whatever the new normal might be looks optimistic–and even that scenario carries us to $20 trillion. And a pessimistic scenario of five years that have been like 2012-2014 plus then five years of recovery would get us to a total lost-wealth cost of $35 trillion.
At some point we will have to stop calling this thing “The Great Recession” and start calling it “The Greater Depression”. When?
But what should the banksters go to jail for, you ask?
For those who came in late, "accounting control fraud." See William R. Black on Bill Moyers. Interestingly, Black just testified as a expert witness on this very topic -- on the winning side. Sacramento Bee:
The big banks and other lenders made as many loans based on patently false information as they could, packaged them as securities and passed them up the chain to Wall Street’s investment and management bankers, who peddled them to an unsuspecting public,” said defense lawyer Tim Pori after the verdict.
“No bank executives have been prosecuted,” Pori said. “Sure, there have been multibillion-dollar settlements with some big banks, but none of their officers – the ones who really pulled the strings – will ever see the inside of a cell.” ...
William Black, who boasts long academic and regulatory careers, was a key expert witness for the defense, again over Coppola’s objection. Black is an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and the “distinguished scholar in residence for financial regulation” at the University of Minnesota’s School of Law.
His testimony purportedly [!!] connected the fraud in the Sacramento case directly to the lenders, and he explained to the jury why the false information on the applications had no bearing on lending decisions.
“This is the first time that the overwhelming fraud at the banks has been discussed in a criminal courtroom by the person with the greatest expertise on the issue, William Black,” said defense lawyer Toni White after the verdict.
“Prosecutors have refused to criminally prosecute the elite bankers responsible for the mortgage crisis that decimated our economy. The jurors heard shocking testimony from ‘control fraud’ expert William Black that regular people who got loans they were unable to pay back did not (defraud) the banks. The elite bankers commit the fraud while prosecutors look the other way and prosecute the wrong people.”
Well, for some definition of "wrong people."