Friday, February 12, 2016

Senator Warren on the Morgan Stanley settlement

From this FB post, quoting:

If a young guy is caught red-handed stealing a car, he’s likely facing arrest, prosecution and jail time. But that’s not how it works for big bank executives. The Justice Department found an email from a Morgan Stanley executive specifically instructing a colleague to hide critical facts about the problems with the mortgages in the mortgage-backed securities the bank was selling to investors. When those mortgages later blew up, they helped spark the 2008 financial crisis and a massive taxpayer bailout. In spite of that smoking gun – and many others – the Justice Department announced a settlement with Morgan Stanley yesterday that doesn’t hold a single live human being accountable for the type of fraud that ultimately cheated investors out of tens of millions of dollars and cost millions more people their homes, their jobs, and their savings.

These guys broke the law, and they did for the oldest reason in the books: to make more money. They didn’t care who they cheated, so long as they got what they wanted. And now, the company will pay a fine, and tonight every executive who plotted, planned and scammed can go home to his family, spend his fat bonus and smile all the way – no arrest, no prosecution, no jail time.

Last week, I spoke on the Senate floor about the government’s failure to enforce the laws against big companies and their executives. The Morgan Stanley settlement just hammers the point home. There are two justice systems in this country – one for the wealthy and powerful who know how to steal millions, and one for everyone else.

Enough is enough.

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