Nearly every large Wall Street bank has paid large sums of money to settle criminal fraud cases with the U.S. legal authorities, without admitting criminal liability for their huge gains. So no banker has gone to jail. The banks have paid the fines, not the managers who have paid themselves enormous salaries, bonuses and stock options for writing junk mortgages and operating in a manner that would have sent them to jail back in the 1980s. That’s when S&L fraudsters were sent to jail for doing what commercial bankers much higher up on the social pyramid have done over the past decade.
- Michael Hudson