William Black: Why Nobody Went to Jail During the Credit Crisis is an interview with the man who wrote the book The Best Way To Rob A Bank Is To Own One. I also mention Black and his book in the post The Best Way To Rob A Bank Is To Own A Politician.
The link to the article that is the focus of this blog has both an audio of the interview and a transcript. To try to give you a sense of the magnitude of the fraud being discussed and to whet your appetite to read the article, I have selected some parts of the transcript to quote.
Remember I told you there were over a million cases of mortgage fraud a year and that overwhelmingly it’s lenders who foot the fraud, the lie in the liars loan.
To give you a comparison, at the peak of the Savings and Loan Crisis, there were 1,000 FBI agents working the cases.
Eight times more FBI agents than were working the cases in fiscal year 2007. And this crisis is forty times bigger and worse than the Savings and Loan Crisis. So you would have required massively more people. To give you another idea of scope, to investigate Enron, and Enron was complex, but it was nowhere near as big and as complex as Washington Mutual. It took 100 FBI agents. So you can see that with 120 nationwide, at most you could have done one major case.
Every year, with a million plus cases of fraud a year, if you prosecute a thousand of them or two thousand of them or three thousand of them, you are a million cases further behind every year, right. It is just insane. So the FBI says we got to start going after the big guys at which point Bush’s Attorney General Mukasey says no, he refuses to even create a National Task Force against mortgage fraud, saying famously, this is simply the equivalent of, and I am quoting again, “White Collar Street Crime,” little tiny stuff. Well of course he has assigned the FBI to only look at little cases and they report back, hey we’re finding little cases. And the Mukasey interprets from that, hey only little cases exist.
For some reason, people cannot understand what the Occupy … movement really wants. They must have very short memories.
I found the link to the William Black article on the Occupy Boston Facebook page, but I’ll be darned if I can figure out how to create a direct link to that specific post. If someone else makes a comment after I did, I may receive an email with the link.