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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:57 PM

'Frontline' Learns Firsthand Why Wall Street Is 'Untouchable'

Source: American Banker

Since the financial system's collapse four years ago, that question has been asked over and over again. The question has sparked editorials, Congressional commissions, Oscar-winning documentaries and the Occupy Wall Street protests – but no criminal prosecutions. It is a question without enough satisfactory answers, and so it is a question that will persist even as it becomes less and less likely that any bankers ever will wind up in jail for the crisis.

The television program "Frontline" is the latest news organization to ask that question, in a worthwhile if occasionally frustrating hour airing Tuesday evening on PBS in most markets. "The Untouchables" provides an overview of some of the factors that led up to the financial crisis: the subprime mortgages recklessly churned out by lenders including Countrywide, the ravenous demand from Wall Street banks for raw material for their mortgage-backed securities, the shoddy oversight from big banks' credit departments.

"It was like a party," one former loan underwriter tells "Frontline's" Martin Smith. "We were getting through these loans as quick as we can. They were not being looked at like they should've been looked at."

Read more: http://www.americanbanker.com/bankthink/frontline-learns-firsthand-why-wall-street-is-untouchable-1056046-1.html



THE UNTOUCHABLES on PBS

Watch it HERE NOW:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/untouchables/



http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/untouchables/?fb_action_ids=10200415307366417&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply 'Frontline' Learns Firsthand Why Wall Street Is 'Untouchable' (Original post)
littlemissmartypants Jan 2013 OP
jerseyjack Jan 2013 #1
LineLineNew Reply .
littlemissmartypants Jan 2013 #2
Fuddnik Jan 2013 #5
truedelphi Jan 2013 #9
truth2power Jan 2013 #11
truedelphi Jan 2013 #23
woo me with science Jan 2013 #24
sendero Jan 2013 #25
woo me with science Jan 2013 #28
fascisthunter Jan 2013 #30
SoapBox Jan 2013 #3
sasha031 Jan 2013 #4
Duppers Jan 2013 #6
littlemissmartypants Jan 2013 #7
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #8
southerncrone Jan 2013 #10
historylovr Jan 2013 #12
Duppers Jan 2013 #13
Phillip McCleod Jan 2013 #14
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #15
littlemissmartypants Jan 2013 #16
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #17
bvar22 Jan 2013 #22
kjackson227 Jan 2013 #27
bvar22 Jan 2013 #29
sendero Jan 2013 #26
jtuck004 Jan 2013 #18
CanSocDem Jan 2013 #19
lotsofsnowplease Jan 2013 #20
4Q2u2 Jan 2013 #21
woo me with science Jan 2013 #31

Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:05 PM

1. --way to go, Holder.

 

That useless piece of shit is why there are no indictments. He could assign others to address the behavior.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:23 PM

5. Breuer was disgusting.

And Kauffman was outraged.

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Response to jerseyjack (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:43 AM

9. Hey give the guy some credit -

Holder's been very busy making sure the real problem makers in America are hassled.

Remember back on Sept 27th 2012, how over thirty two households in Santa Rosa Calif were torn apart by DOJ, ICE and local police, as there was a staunch belief that the dreaded marijuana was being grown. Mexican Americans tossed onto the curb outside their homes, handcuffed, their kids running up and down the street in tears.

We can't let Holder forget for one moment what Mr Obama owes to Big Phamar. Gotta keep that evil weed illegal, until every last patent is secured for every last cannibinoid so that not only does O's Wall Street buddies make every dollar of profit they can, but O's Big Pharma buddies can do so too!

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:26 AM

11. Well, now that the inauguration is over, and all the pretty pictures of Pres. Obama aside,

one does need to address why he surrounds himself with all these scum.

I'm wondering how that can all be finessed into a concern for "we the people".

Just sayin'



ETA: I saw the Frontline program last night. Just something to make me feel even more depressed about the prospects of justice for the "little people" in the next four years.

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Response to truth2power (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:14 PM

23. Got this in my email box circa jan 9th 2013 -

Washington, DC – Fallout from the Obama Administration’s aggressive federal enforcement in medical marijuana states has reached a fever pitch this month with three people being sentenced, two others due to surrender to federal authorities to serve out sentences of up to five years in prison, and one federal trial in Montana currently scheduled for January 14th. Two of the three people being sentenced in the coming month — Montana cultivator Chris Williams and Los Angeles-area dispensary operator Aaron Sandusky — face five and ten years to life, respectively.

“The number of sick patients being locked up by the Obama Administration is unprecedented and deplorable,” said Kris Hermes, spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access, the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy organization.

“Aggressive enforcement is an unacceptable means of addressing medical marijuana as a public health issue,” continued Hermes. “The Obama Administration is lying to the American people when it says it’s not targeting individual patients and these cases are clear evidence of that.” Montana patient cultivator Richard Flor died in August while serving out a 5-year prison sentence.

Five cultivators claiming to be in compliance with Michigan’s medical marijuana law were sentenced in October. Two of the cultivators — Jaycob Montague and Jeremy Duval — are already serving their prison terms of 18 months and 5 years, respectively, and two others — John Marcinkewciz and Shelley Waldron — are scheduled to surrender to federal authorities on January 8th and 10th, respectively. Waldron will be imprisoned for 18 months and Marcinkewciz for 5 years.
####

I had to do research for an article for the Coastal Post way back in 1999 or 2000. I really didn't think that anyone was subjecting med marijuana patients to jail for long sentences just to use a little weed to avoid tremors from MS. But I soon learned that hundreds of people in California, (which I always thought was so liberal that no one worried about pot resulting in jail time), were indeed rotting in jail due to arrests.

So in large part as a reaction against this, activists in the nineties, who were much more aware than I was, had spent half a dozen years getting the Prop on the ballot. Voters overwhelmingly saw that it was approved. And then "liberal" Obama states for his first two and a half years that he will respect the will of the people of California. Then he started to turn on us. He uses this mumble jumble about marijuana use being "public health issue." And the Federal agency people that get asked to be on C Span forums about marijuana say that medical marijuana growers and providers are sometimes people connected with narco-terrorism. Well, when marijuana was TOTALLY illegal, we had even more Mexican cartel people here in Calif disrupting people's lives. That was starting to fade into the background. Now it will be an element of life again.

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Response to truth2power (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:23 PM

24. Party has become largely irrelevant when it comes to economic, war, and police state issues.

The theft will continue and corporate fascism will grow until we stop pretending that our side is not complicit. That goes for both Republicans and Democrats.

They win because they divide us. They laugh at us while predatory policies escalate from administration to administration, but they can always count on half the country to circle the wagons around and protect "our" thieves.

Until both Republicans and Democrats across the country wake up and realize that we are being brainwashed to hate and attack each other instead of the ones who are looting us ALL, the theft will continue.

Until Americans decide to stand up against what is clearly wrong no matter who is doing it, to resist the distractions and wedge issues that are constantly put before us, and to accept as allies against what is clearly wrong even those we have been trained to hate, we will never have the power and the numbers to defeat them.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #24)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:39 PM

25. I agree with all of that..

... but also key to the mechanics of the situation is how elections are financed. No big donor is ever going to be held to account, period.

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Response to sendero (Reply #25)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:44 PM

28. +100000

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #24)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:24 PM

30. and I loathe those circling that wagon

shit heads

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:10 PM

3. ...sickening and

depressing.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:16 PM

4. Thanks for posting, will catch this later

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:42 PM

6. it was EXCELLENT! Holder must go!

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Response to Duppers (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:01 AM

7. And

The Politician Hall of Shame Inductee #4

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1251279165

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:19 AM

10. Hoping this gets some attention since

Frontline has exposed how pathetic our overseers have handled it. We need to put the pressure on the DOJ to "do something" (imprison after a fair trial) about these scamming deliberate thieves. Oh, yeah, and seize their assets, too.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:20 AM

12. K & R.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:22 AM

13. and contrast the way Aaron Swartz was treated

To the way Obama's Justice Dept has treated these billionaire Wall Street bankers.

I support our President but we need to let him know this gross miscarriage of justice is not acceptable!!

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Response to Duppers (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:47 AM

14. exactly we elected him now we have to hold him to his word.

 

it's our duty and not just his to push the progressive agenda while we can.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:28 AM

15. I think the most important line in this piece was ...

Why haven't any senior executives gone to jail? This is such a familiar question by now that anyone asking it for the first time needs to be more specific. Name names, and the laws allegedly broken.


And I would suggest that the second part of the question, ... "specifically ... the laws allegedly broken", the reason they are not named is because no one, with appropriate legal/prosecutorial knowledge, knows. From what I have gathered, the laws that would apply, after 30+ years of neutering and neglect, are so full of loop-holes and dodges, that prosecution would be futile; or worse, lead to more bad law.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:24 AM

16. Very astute. eom

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:36 AM

17. I guess I should add ...

I get frustrated to the extreme when folks bash Holder (or President Obama) with "All you have to do is ..." lines and use as support, Attorneys that have never prosecuted a case of this nature. The only attorneys I would listen to in this respect are New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Bill Black. Schneiderman has prosecuted cases in a very limited way, none of which (to my knowledge) were criminal prosecutions, and Black, who did the work more than a decade ago ... and a decade, in the shifting legal landscape, is a life time ago.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:13 PM

22. Why are you unwilling to trust former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer?

He has more creds than ANYBODY when to comes to Wall Street Criminals
and their cozy relationship with the Obama White House.

When it comes to Wall Street Criminals, former NY Governor and former NY Attorney General Spitzer has MORE credibility with me.
He actually has a Track Record of going after these criminal bastards.
and their protection by the Executive Branch than ANYONE on the planet.

"Bobby Kennedy Jr. and Eliot Spitzer Ask, Where Are the Prosecutors?"
http://www.newschannel5.com/story/12396034/bobby-kennedy-jr-and-eliot-spitzer-ask-where-are-the-prosecutors

"Eliot Spitzer says President Obama was on Wall Street's Side from Day One"
http://stopforeclosurefraud.com/2012/04/14/eliot-spitzer-says-president-barack-obama-was-on-wall-streets-side-from-day-one-fast-forward/

Simple Google: Eliot Spitzer and Wall Street Criminals

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #22)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:34 PM

27. I like Spitzer and I hope someday he will get back into politics very, very soon, but...

I disagree that President Obama was on Wall Street's side, I just don't think no one, not even President Obama, and Holder has pants big enough to place more reform on and bring down the giants of Wall Street. Just as Wall Street was too big to fail, they are too big to reform. And, how much time/effort and money would it take to actually be able to try and prosecute all involved?

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Response to kjackson227 (Reply #27)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:19 PM

29. Being frightened...

...is not a good reason to run from the fight.
If not NOW, when the devastation these monsters have caused is fresh in our minds,
and the wound are still bleeding,
then when?

Are you saying we should all go gently into that good night?

FDR Welcomed their hatred....and WON!
I prefer that approach,
and if Obama chooses to stand and fight.
I will fight with him.
If he chooses to appease the monsters,
he will do that without me.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:42 PM

26. Yet..

.... if some little schlub gets caught in a dubious scheme, the prosecutors will go after him no matter what. I am not buying this story for a SECOND.

Juries would LOVE to teach some of these asses a lesson but the prosecutions are not even tried. Show me another area of criminal law where the gov't just says "oh it's too complicated and we might not get a convicton". Utter bullshit.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:22 PM

18. Democrats are darlings of Wall St....


WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, who are running for president as economic populists, are benefiting handsomely from Wall Street donations, easily surpassing Republican John McCain in campaign contributions from the troubled financial services sector.

It is part of a broader fundraising shift toward Democrats, compared to past campaigns when Republicans were the favorites of Wall Street.

Some Democrats worry that the influx of money will make their candidates less willing to call for increased regulation of financial markets, which have been in turmoil after a wave of foreclosures on sub-prime mortgages.
...
"I want to hear Clinton, Obama and McCain talk about a quid pro quo," said Jared Bernstein, an economist with the Democratic-leaning Economic Policy Institute. "If we don't hear it, especially from Democrats, it makes sense to ask why not and ask if they are inappropriately cozy with the financial services industry."

The flow of campaign cash is a measure of how open-fisted banks and other financial institutions have been to politicians of both parties. Concern is rising that "no matter who the Democratic nominee is and who wins in November, Wall Street will have a friend in the White House," said Massie Ritsch of the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign donations. "The door will be open to these big banks."
...


Here.


We have been reading and hearing about this since 2009, nothing new in their special. Still, one can't say nothing was done, and Holder didn't send trillions of dollars back to to Wall Street for their use, making sure the banks do well while 47 million are on food stamps and we are still yanking 50,000 people out of their homes every month in completed foreclosures.

He's just one of the people who think well-fed bankers and mortgage brokers are more important than standing up for hungry children, keeping seniors out of poverty, investing in education for adults, or standing in front of our most vulnerable as a barrier to predatory capitalism.

That is, unless one thinks the $40 billion we are paying every month to wealthy people so they don't lose money on their mortgage-backed securities while people are being dragged from the homes they worked for benefits anyone except the bankers. Or perhaps they see the trillions we let the banks capture through the use of free taxpayer money, wealth that taxpayers had to labor to produce, only to see it turned against them, adding to the millions families we see as "working poor", as a better use for the money than providing opportunity.

FDR didn't put forward the policies that made life better for people until tens of thousands marched in the streets, people with nothing else parading past the White House and lines of police, and hungry children were walked out of school by their teachers to ask for a food program.

Modern people have far more in resources to make things happen for themselves anytime they want to get off the this merry-go-round. They have the power. They just need to quit making excuses for people who call themselves "friends" and organize.

The Unemployed Councils, after decades of other organizing efforts, put people on the streets to demand what they wanted. Maybe we need to learn from the Communist Party again to show us how to cooperate and get loose from Wall Street, quit giving them so much. CP really pushed for an 8 hour day and unemployment, btw.

We would probably murder, jail, and hang the people on our side again, if history is any indication, so the incentive structure is going to need a little work. But nothing is going to change as long as people think they are going to get a solution from the FOB. (Friends of Banksters).




















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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:23 PM

19. Are you willing to admit...



...that the whole principle of 'profit-taking' is essentially criminal. Or is it OK as long as it is 'fair'....???

Personally, I think that property is theft, so I can't really help you.


.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:13 PM

20. no money, no breaks.

 

Mo money, you get all the breaks.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:18 PM

21. We are in Trouble

When Bushie I and Shrub have more arrests and convictions for BS like this. Of course now the Wallie Street boys are protected from both sides, Good Investments I guess. Is this what they teach at Harvard business school?????


http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/2011-12-01/enron-ten-years-on-where-they-are-now


http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04232010/profile.html

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