In what is merely the latest act in the neverending play of fraud and corruption, 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 reports the Huffington Post. "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." Well, it would be so easy to believe that this is not merely the latest political attempt at cowardly subterfuge before their Wall Street overlords by the corrupt Congressional puppets if this same ploy had worked out a little better the last time, oh, precisely zero bankers were thrown in jail. That said, the semi-informed public who sees massive fraud and endless lies now on a daily basis will get more disclosure on Thursday when the "final report" is expected to be released. Said semi-informed people will be shortly disappointed when nothing at all comes out of this. As for the 99% of the less than semi-informed US population, well, they couldn't care less.
In 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.
Surely, Lloyd, Vic and Jamie are shaking in their boots. And just to extend the subreality distraction show by a few more days, while something far more criminal is likely taking place behind the scenes, the general public has two more days in which to imagine that one day someone may go to jail for the biggest legal heist in US history.
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.