Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why has no one gone to jail for the fraud and excess that brought the world economy to the brink, robbed millions of their savings and cost more millions jobs?

Woody Guthrie: "Some men rob you with a fountain pen..."

In receiving the Academy Award for his excellent documentary, Inside Job, on the 2008 financial meltdown that still haunts our broken economy, director Charles Ferguson brought a bit of cold water to the Oscar ceremonies last February:

“Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that’s wrong.”

Ferguson raised an important question. At least part of the answer is addressed in the context of an extensive New Yorker article by George Packer on the prosecution of the Wall Street insider trading case against Raj Rajaratnam, head of Galleon hedge fund, which isn't directly related to the 2008 crisis.  The relevant sections from Packer's piece that speak to the lingering question raised by Ferguson and his documentary's investigation into the larger crisis follow: