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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:20 AM ET, 12/18/2013

Frauds were happened

I must return to the subject of fraud during the Mortgage-Packaging-Paloozathon that triggered the Great Financial Collapse of our Lifetime, because so few others do. I also mention this from time to remind you both of my correctness and ineffectiveness. When I started blogging lo those several years ago, I started by clamoring for jailtime for some financial malefactors. Didn’t happen then, and has only happened since to a handful of smallish fry. And yet.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/jan/09/financial-crisis-why-no-executive-prosecutions/

Questions, questions. But never any satisfactory answers. This article, after a heroic bout of disclaimers and to-be-sures, showing a level of reasonable doubt that I’ve never been quite able to muster,, sums the situation up neatly. “Subprime mortgages, i.e., mortgages of dubious creditworthiness, increasingly provided the chief collateral for highly leveraged securities that were marketed as AAA, i.e., securities of very low risk. How could this transformation of a sow’s ear into a silk purse be accomplished unless someone dissembled along the way?”

How indeed? The why is less difficult to answer. In a culture where vasty vasty riches are required to be even considered rich at all, and where being vasty vasty rich is Coin of the Realm, so to speak, to coin a phrase, what do you suppose might just possibly happen? Especially if there was a suspicion there would be no personal consequences? Going forward, more than just a suspicion now.

By  |  07:20 AM ET, 12/18/2013

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