Iceland’s Lesson for the World: Control Your Own Currency and Help Your People

By: Wednesday June 13, 2012 3:35 pm

I was on The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur last night, talking about Iceland and how differently they have managed their economic crisis compared to the rest of the world.


Schneiderman Has Little “Independence” on Working Group Investigation

By: Tuesday June 5, 2012 4:36 pm

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has hired former federal prosecutor Virginia Romano to work on the series of investigations around the RMBS working group he co-chairs. The interesting part of this to me is that Schneiderman did the hiring, rather than the Department of Justice.

How a Lack of Financial Fraud Prosecutions Aids and Abets More Fraud

By: Thursday May 31, 2012 5:45 pm

I generally agree with Peter Henning that Eric Schneiderman’s plaintive wail for more resources for the RMBS working group, the task force looking into fraud in the mortgage securitization business, suggests that there will not be any meaningful prosecutions coming out of Washington against Wall Street. And he marshals a bunch of other evidence.

Shareholders Challenging the Private Prison Industry

By: Saturday May 26, 2012 4:00 pm

In an interesting bit of grassroots advocacy, a few shareholders of the country’s two largest private prison companies have worked to bring more accountability to the industry, which is exempt from public records laws in nearly every jurisdiction despite the fact that it performs inherently governmental functions.

The GEO Group, based in Boca Raton, FL, had its annual shareholders’ meeting in Palm Beach a few weeks back. Some demonstrators protested outside, but the true challenge for the company would come from inside that very meeting.

Securitization Fraud Task Force Continues to “Prove” Worth With Metrics

By: Friday May 25, 2012 10:24 am

Persistent criticism of the sluggish securitization fraud task force formed early this year to investigate Wall Street has led to more PR. Now one of the co-chairs of the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS) working group, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, has decided to act like he needs more help, after months of official statements that the investigation was proceeding at an acceptable pace.

SEC Ends Probe Into Lehman Brothers Without Taking Action

By: Friday May 25, 2012 7:32 am

The Securities and Exchange Commission has ended their probe of Lehman Brothers without making any enforcement actions. It’s only the latest in a series of investigations that have either turned up empty or resulted in what amounts to a slap on the wrist.

Bank Accountability Advocates Show Up at Geithner’s House

By: Monday May 21, 2012 7:15 am

The protests at the NATO summit in Chicago weren’t the only ones over the weekend. A group of about 1,000 bank accountability advocates drove to the front of Timothy Geithner’s house in Bethesda, Maryland, on Sunday, and tried to get an impromptu meeting with the Treasury Secretary. There are more actions planned with other regulators.

St. Louis Fed President: Break Up the Banks

By: Thursday May 17, 2012 7:20 pm

James Bullard, the President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, has become the second regional bank President in the last couple months to endorse the concept of breaking up large banks.

Eric Griego, House Candidate in New Mexico, Wants Corrupt Bankers to Go to Jail

By: Thursday May 17, 2012 12:00 pm

The public has a thirst for a real crackdown on Wall Street. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, in the 48 hours since it went out with a petition in support of a new Glass-Steagall Act to separate commercial and investment banking received 60,000 signatures, and counting. But it’s not just arcane subjects about permitted practices by financial firms that has animated people. Eric Griego, a Democrat running for the House in New Mexico, released an ad this week with the line “I won’t stop until Wall Street bankers who broke the law go to jail.” The ad starts with the story of Alan and Melinda Witt who lost a good deal of their life savings in the stock market during the 2008 crash, right as they had planned to retire.

Elizabeth Warren Expresses No Confidence in Current Bank Accountability Measures

By: Thursday May 17, 2012 6:21 am

I’m going to post a transcript, edited somewhat for clarity, of an interview I did with Professor Warren yesterday afternoon. But I want to highlight the very last thing we talked about. After Warren discussed how, without meaningful civil and criminal investigations of the financial sector, it will not be possible to “clean out the system and rebuild it,” I asked her if she was confident that the current set of investigations, in particular the task force co-chaired by Eric Schneiderman, looking into criminal actions in the securitization process, would yield this level of accountability. She had a simple answer:

“I am not confident. No. And that’s the answer to your question. The American people are pushing for more accountability. They need to keep on pushing until it happens.”

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