"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Will Justice Department Go After the Real Crooks?

In a scene reminiscent of the glory days of Hoover's G-Men, the FBI rounded up over a hundred numbers runners, thugs, drug dealers, and arms salesmen last week in a big, big story showing the get-toughness on crime by Team Obama. 

The question that remains is whether or not the Justice Department and the FBI will raid the casinos on Wall Street to pick up the real criminals who have walked away with trillions of other people's dollars, while leaving the taxpayers to pay it all back. 

This clip from HuffPo has this story suggesting that there is plenty to indicate that orange jumpsuits and prosecutions are in order, but will Obama and Congress go after their largest political contributors?
The bipartisan panel appointed by Congress to investigate the financial crisis has concluded that several financial industry figures appear to have broken the law and has referred multiple cases to state or federal authorities for potential prosecution, according to two sources directly involved in the deliberations.

The sources, who spoke on condition they not be named, declined to identify the people implicated or the names of their institutions. But they characterized the panel's decision to make referrals to prosecutors as a significant escalation in the government's response to the financial crisis. The panel plans to release its final report in Washington on Thursday morning.

n the three years since major lenders teetered on the brink of collapse, prompting huge taxpayer rescues and amplifying an already painful recession into the most punishing downturn since the Depression, public indignation has swelled while few people who played prominent roles in the crisis have faced legal consequences.

That may be about to change. According to the law that created the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the panel has a responsibility to refer for prosecution any evidence of lawbreaking. The offices that have received the referrals -- the Justice Department, state attorneys general, and perhaps both -- must now determine whether to prosecute cases and, if so, whether to pursue criminal or civil charges.

Though civil charges appear a more likely outcome should prosecution result, one source familiar with the panel's deliberations said criminal charges should not be ruled out.

The commission's decision to refer conduct for prosecution underscores the severity of the activities it has uncovered and plans to detail in its widely anticipated final report, the sources said.

A spokesman for the commission declined to comment. "I cannot comment on the commission's report or its activities until January 27th," said the spokesman, Tucker Warren.

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