17/09/2012 by Don Quijones
The last time a large number of bankers faced jail time in the U.S. was during the Savings & Loans scandal of the 1980s and 1990s. One of the men responsible for the successful conviction of over 1,000 bank executives as well as the crackdown on banking fraud that ensued was financial fraud investigator Bill Black.
Indeed, such was the stir Black’s investigation caused that one of the bankers caught in his crosshairs, Charles Keating – after whom the Keating Five scandal is named – sent a memo that read “Get Black… Kill him dead”.
Since 2008, Black’s attention has shifted to the current financial crisis. In his 2009 book The Best Way to Rob a Bank is Own One, Black argues that the main cause of the global financial meltdown was the endemic culture of fraud and corruption that reigned supreme on Wall Street and in the City of London.
In this still-timely and prescient 2009 interview with Bill Moyers, Black lays out in laymen terms how this culture of fraud was able to take root. He also reveals that not a single “senior” banker has faced prosecution for committing financial fraud in the lead-up to, or aftermath of, arguably the greatest financial scandal of modern times.
Three years on, the same financial criminals whose actions triggered the crisis are now seeking to exploit the chaos they’ve sown by plundering and pillaging entire countries of their most valuable resources.
Lest we ever forget, this crisis was entirely man-made and the culprits behind it not only walk free today but still have their hands on the levers of global finance, not to mention in the pockets of our political representatives.