With two A’s, one C, a D, and an F; the editorial board of USA Today isn’t giving Financial report the best grades. Check out this excerpt below or click here to read the report in its entirety.
When the credit bubble burst in 2008 and the world almost fell into another Great Depression, the public’s anger could be distilled into two demands: that the people responsible for the calamity should be brought to justice, and that the government should act to ensure that nothing like it happened again.
The first demand was never met. Although prosecutors have obtained large civil judgments against major banks — most recently a tentative $17 billion settlement with Bank of America — no top official at a major financial institution has been convinced of a crime. It can be hard to prove an intent to commit fraud with people who deceived themselves as thoroughly as they deceived others.
Bankruptcy and risk management experts discussed details regarding deficiencies of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law at a House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.
The core provision of the 2010 reform law was to keep the government from paying the bailout bill of major financial institutions when they fail. However, federal government financial regulators still have discretion to subsidize large financial institutions if their failure threatens the economy.
Officials have publicly noted that the government’s ability to prosecute large institutions and their executives for financial crimes is hindered when institutions are treated as “too big to fail”.
Possible corrections discussed including shrinking the biggest institutions and reducing their risk to the financial system. California Democrat Brad Sherman used the phrase “too big to fail and too big to jail”. He said that no institution should be so large that its creditors believe they will be bailed out and its executives believe they are immune from the laws.
A second fix discussed included greatly limiting or all together doing away with regulators’ option of funding and restructuring a failing institution outside of bankruptcy.