PLEDGE NOW
Prosecuting Financial Titans

Three years and counting since Wall Street collapsed. The case for prosecution of financial titans is still with us.

Occupy Wall Street protestors march towards Wall Street after being heartened by the postponement of a scheduled cleanup of their camp at Zucotti Park that many protestors saw as a de facto eviction, Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, in New York. Some arrests have occurred after a few hundred protesters left Zucotti Park and marched to the area around the New York Stock Exchange. There are barricades and mounted police around the exchange.  (AP)

Occupy Wall Street protestors march towards Wall Street after being heartened by the postponement of a scheduled cleanup of their camp at Zucotti Park that many protestors saw as a de facto eviction, Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, in New York. Some arrests have occurred after a few hundred protesters left Zucotti Park and marched to the area around the New York Stock Exchange. There are barricades and mounted police around the exchange. (AP)

They’re arresting Occupy Wall Streeters for trampling grass in public squares. But the finance titans who trampled the U.S. economy in the collapse of Wall Street, says my guest today, have gone scot free.

William Black is a warrior on finance ethics and legality. He was in the thick of the slew of prosecutions after the 1980s S&L scandal. It’s not too late, he says, to prosecute over the 2008 collapse and its run-up. And we should.

For justice and the future of the country. All the way to the top.

This hour On Point: the unfinished call to prosecute Wall Street.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

William Black, University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law. He was a senior federal financial regulator during the Savings and Loan crisis.

Lynn Stout, Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles. She’s the author of Cultivating Conscience: How Good Laws Make Good People.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Late last week, word leaked out that Mr. Mozilo, who had co-founded Countrywide Financial in 1969 — and, for nearly 40 years, presided over its astonishing rise and its equally astonishing fall — would not be prosecuted by the Justice Department. Not for insider trading. Not for failing to disclose to investors his private worries about subprime loans. Not for helping to create a culture at Countrywide in which mortgage originators were rewarded for pushing fraudulent loans on borrowers.”

International Herald Tribune “It is a question asked repeatedly across America: Why, in the aftermath of a financial mess that generated hundreds of billions in losses, have no high-profile participants in the disaster been prosecuted?”

Huffington Post
“What exactly is the function of the financial sector in our society? Simply this: Its sole function is supplying capital efficiently to aid the real economy. The financial sector is a tool to help those that make real tools, not an end in itself. But five fatal flaws in the financial sector’s current structure have created a monster that drains the real economy, promotes fraud and corruption, threatens democracy, and causes recurrent, intensifying crises.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 7, 2015
Supporters of the No vote celebrate after the results of the referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greeks overwhelmingly rejected creditors’ demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans in a critical referendum Sunday, backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who insisted the vote would give him a stronger hand to reach a better deal.  (AP)

Greeks spoke and said no to the European ultimatum. Folly or bravery, these are uncharted waters for Europe and Greece.

Jul 7, 2015
Freddy Osborne, left, and teammate Nikolai Darken, second left, both from Fairfield, Conn., play a word against teammates Yanni Raymond, right, and Knox Daniel, second right, both from Charlottesville, Va., during the first round at the 2015 North American School SCRABBLE Championship at Hasbro headquarters in Pawtucket, R.I., Saturday, May 16, 2015.  (AP)

From the living room to world championships, Scrabble is fun—and fiercely competitive. We’ll dig in.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 6, 2015
A still from the upcoming documentary film, "Tough Love." (Courtesy PBS / The Filmmakers)

An intimate look at the foster care system from the perspective of two families struggling to reunite with their children.

 
Jul 6, 2015
President Barack Obama speaks during services honoring the life of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Charleston, S.C., at the College of Charleston TD Arena. Pinckney was one of the nine people killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME Church last week in Charleston.  (AP)

How should we talk about faith and God in these uncertain times? We put that tough question—and more—to a roundtable of religious thinkers.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 3, 2015
Friday, Jul 3, 2015

We made a lot of last-minute programming changes these past few weeks, and you stuck around with us through it all. Thanks!

More »
1 Comment
 
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
9 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment