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This combination of Associated Press file photos shows, left, Patrick Kenny a Specialist of Lehman Brothers working his post on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Sept. To date, no executives have faced prosecution for the widespread mortgage fraud that fueled the bubble.caught up with a man who knows a lot about fraud — and fraud prosecutions — to explain why that is, and what the possible consequences of letting Wall Street off the hook might be. Black, now a professor of law at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, is a former bank regulator who played an integral role in throwing a number of high-level executives in jail for white-collar crimes during the savings and loan crisis in the 1980s. A lightly edited transcript of our discussion is below.15, 2008, and right, the Lehman Brothers headquarters Monday, Sept. (AP Photo)September 15th marked the fifth anniversary of Wall Street giant Lehman Brothers going into bankruptcy, which precipitated the Great Recession that lingers on today — it remains the largest bankruptcy in U. Joshua Holland: To date, a few loan officers — small fish — have been convicted of various offenses related to the financial crash.
There’s simply been no concerted effort to prosecute these guys.
Can you contrast that with what happened during the savings and loan scandal of the 1980s, and also give us your sense of why this has been the case? The savings and loan debacle was one-seventieth the size of the current crisis, both in terms of losses and the amount of fraud.
In that crisis, the savings and loan regulators made over 30,000 criminal referrals, and this produced over 1,000 felony convictions in cases designated as “major” by the Department of Justice.
But even that understates the degree of prioritization, because we, the regulators, worked very closely with the FBI and the Justice Department to create a list of the top 100 — the 100 worst fraud schemes.
They involved roughly 300 savings and loans and 600 individuals, and virtually all of those people were prosecuted.