为什么金融危机的肇事者全都还逍遥法外呢?

作者:pengl  于 2011-5-21 02:46 发表于 最热闹的华人社交网络--贝壳村

通用分类:热点杂谈|已有166评论

刚刚在谷哥搜寻“Why Haven't Wall Streeters Gone to Jail? (为什么华尔街还没有人坐监呢?),出来了34百万条结果,远远高于另一个震惊环球的热门话题“Obama 1967 borders(奥巴马要求以巴双方退到1967年的边界)输出的8百万条结果。毫无疑问,《时代周刊》这篇文章(简称时文)道出了广大网民的心声,引起全球共鸣。

 

时文提出了这么一个简单而严肃的问题:为什么金融风暴过去近5年,那些掀起次贷泡沫几乎整夸世界金融体系和经济让几乎所有发达国家不得不高筑债台狂印钞票的肇事者全都还逍遥法外呢?“时文”举出几种广为流传的解释(细节请看本文后所附):1.阴谋论。检察官被上司要求不要起诉,以免使高昂代价换来的脆弱的金融和经济复苏废于一旦。2.个人无辜论(“个人”两字为笔者所加)。次贷风暴是华尔街在当时法律和规章下集体智慧的结晶。法不治众,存在的就是合理的。3.起诉准备尚在进行论。由于案件错综复杂,盘根错节,要假以时日,方能梳理清楚,立案起诉。

 

到底哪种解释更为可信,大家见仁见智,众说纷纭。但是,浏览雅虎的1,000多条回复,毋庸置疑地看出升斗网民对这一尖锐而现实的社会问题有着高度一致的反应(祥见链接2):义愤填膺,愤愤不平。大多数认为金融界和政界人员和资金的高度流通性,是金融危机的肇事者迄今仍逍遥法外的主要原因。法律对富人和穷人绝非一视同仁。

 

有意思的是,非洲领袖学院的创建者、来自非洲的弗雷德·斯瓦尼克(Fred Swaniker)在513日斯坦福经济政策研究学院(Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research)举行的非洲发展年会上,自豪地提到:被西方媒体视为独裁和腐败典型的、非洲人口最多的尼日利亚是全球唯一一个惩罚金融风暴肇事者的国家。尼日利亚中央银行行长撤消了10大银行中8位总裁的职务,并把16位银行高管送入监狱(参见链接1)。斯瓦尼克此话一出,全场哑然。顺便提一下,尼日利亚对肇事银行高管的惩治,并未影响其经济运作。2010年,其经济取得了傲人的8.4%的增长。

 

 

 

链接1:

It’s jail, not NAMA, for Nigerian bankers over debts

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/snsnkfaugb/rss2/

 

 

链接2:

ZTNY AG Investigation: Why Haven't Wall Streeters Gone to Jail?

 

In August 2006, Nichols Smith, an investment banker at now-defunct Bear Stearns emailed a colleague, Keith Lind, who was busy selling the firm's mortgage bond deals to clients. Smith was supposed to be the manager supervising these deals, and the email was to tell Lind what he thought of the latest deal Lind was trying to pitch to the firm's clients. In two words: Not much. Smith called the bond named SACO 2006-8 a "sack of s**t," and wrote, "I hope your [sic] making a lot of money off this trade."

For investigators looking for smoking guns that show Wall Street bankers at the height of the bubble knew the mortgage bonds they were pushing on clients were worthless junk, these emails seem about as good as you can get. And yet, nearly five years later after these emails were written, and months after they became public this year as part of case brought by mortgage insurer Ambac against Bear and J.P. Morgan Chase nothing has happened. Neither Lind nor Smith have been charged with any wrong-doing over the deal, nor has anyone else at Bear, or elsewhere for that matter. It's nearly three years after the financial crisis, and not a single Wall Streeter has been sent to jail for charges related to the mortgage bonds and other financial products that caused hundreds of billions of dollars in loses and nearly brought down the U.S. economy. (See the top 10 abuses of power.)

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that the New York Attorney General's office has been requesting information from Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley on how they created and structured mortgage bonds at the height of the credit boom. That investigation has reignited questions about why no Wall Streeters have yet to face criminal charges directly related to the mortgage bonds and other toxic deals that lead to the financial crisis. No one really knows the answer, but there are a number of theories out there. Here are the best ones:

Theory No. 1: Prosecutors have been told to back off.
In mid-April, the New York Times did a large
investigative piece that found a number of instances where prosecutors were told not to pursue Wall Street. Financial regulators, in the wake of the crisis, were worried about the health of the banks. What's more, the federal government had just shelled out hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out financial firms. Top government officials were worried that banks would be forced to use taxpayer money to defend themselves against prosecution. Worse, they were concerned that large settlements against the banks would send them back into financial distress, hurting their ability to repay the government. So essentially the theory is that the bank bailout shielded Wall Street from being prosecuted for the very acts that necessitated the bailout. Another reason to hate bailouts? Perhaps.

The problem with that theory is that doesn't explain why prosecutors haven't been going after more banks and bankers today. Most of the bailout money has been repaid, and Wall Street is back to minting money. But I guess you could argue that since prosecutors were thrown off at the beginning they have yet to get back on the trail.

See how to make regulation work.

Theory No. 2: Wall Street is innocent.
It may seem like the most bizarre answer, but it is getting some traction. No one is really saying that Wall Street didn't do anything wrong. It's clear that setting up risky mortgage bonds to sell to investors and then betting against them yourself is wrong. But is it illegal? It's not quite clear. This is essentially the argument that long-time Wall Street columnist Roger Lowenstein made in a recent story in
Businessweek.

To some people this theory seems impossible. Inside Job filmmaker Chris Ferguson used his time on stage to question why three years after the crisis no Wall Streeter has been sent to prison. Yet, Ferguson spent over a year detailing the financial crisis, and there's nothing in his movie that really proves anyone on Wall Street broke the law. Ferguson does a nice job of nailing some economists, but that's really the only gotcha moment in the movie. So if Ferguson couldn't find a smoking gun, why does he think prosecutors will. (See what the 2011 budget deal says about FinReg.)

Theory No. 3: The cases are still in the works.
Blogger and lawyer Isaac Gradman recently wrote a piece about the
top 5 reasons we are about to see a flood of cases against Wall Street. And there seems to be some evidence that prosecutors are starting to be more aggressive in pursuing cases. One example is the recent Department of Justice case against Deutsche Bank, which alleged that its mortgage unit duped a government program into approving questionable home loans. The other piece of evidence is the fact that the New York State Attorney General's office, despite efforts by other AGs to get a large settlement and put the matter behind them, is reopening an investigation into how Wall Street created and sold mortgage bonds.

It's not clear what part of the mortgage process, or what potential wrong doing, the NY AG Eric Schneiderman is investigating. One good guess has to do with the vetting of mortgages. Back in 2008, then NY AG Andrew Cuomo granted immunity to a firm Clayton Holdings that was regularly hired by Wall Street firms to check the quality of the loans that the investment banks were buying and packaging into bonds. Turns out the quality was pretty low. But investment bankers bought the mortgages anyway, and passed them along to investors without telling them about the third-party reviews. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission made a big deal about Clayton and the fact that Wall Street firms didn't disclose the vetting firm's findings to investors. A lot of people have called this a smoking gun. The excellent financial blogger Felix Salmon has called this the "enormous mortgage bond scandal." But again, Cuomo and others have known about this since at least late 2008. So I'm not sure what else there is to uncover that would lead to criminal indictments that hasn't already.

The truth is that Wall Streeters rarely go to jail. Yes, other bubbles and financial crises have resulted in numerous convictions, but generally not of Wall Streeters. In the 1990s, it was the heads of the Savings and Loans that went to jail. In the bust of the early 2000s, it was chief executives like Enron's Jeffrey Skilling that ended up doing the perp walk. Wall Street analyst Henry Blodget was caught red-handed by then NY AG Eliot Spitzer recommending stocks he didn't believe in, but again that didn't lead to jail time. He and the firm he worked for Merrill Lynch ended up paying a fine, as did other firms. And it was less than the fine that Goldman Sachs had to pay this time around. (See "Financial Regulators Have the Juice, But Feel the Squeeze.")

Nonetheless, if someone should be investigated for wrong doing, you might want to start with the Bear Stearns bankers that come up in the Ambac suit. Clayton plays a part in that case as well. Like other banks, Bear's bankers had reports from Clayton that should have, and potentially at least in the case of Smith, who sent the email, let them know that the mortgages they were selling were likely to be bad investments. What's more, when the mortgages did go bad, the trader Lind and others at Bear collected payments to compensate investors for the fact that the loans had defaulted. But they didn't pass those payments along to bond holders who they had sold the bonds to, and actually took the lose when the borrowers stopped paying. This all seems wrong. Prosecutable? I guess we'll see.


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发表评论 评论 (166 个评论)

1 回复 海外愤青 2011-5-21 02:52
这次房贷金融危机,细节人物和倒闭,连篇累赘地轰炸性报道,白宫也信誓旦旦,好象是很详细彻底,但关键问题:万亿资产的金融大窟窿都落入谁的口袋了,老百姓还是一头露水。
1 回复 pengl 2011-5-21 03:06
海外愤青: 这次房贷金融危机,细节人物和倒闭,连篇累赘地轰炸性报道,白宫也信誓旦旦,好象是很详细彻底,但关键问题:万亿资产的金融大窟窿都落入谁的口袋了,老百姓还是 ...
(这是咱对丹奇的博文“一个美国人的反思:“中国有限公司””的回复)
在大的经济难题上,美国是随便说(广开言路,可以评可以骂)没法做(利益团体势力太强,只管下个选举),中国是没法说(小心影响和谐)随便做(抓到老鼠有利就行)。

总之,这里只说不做,那里只做不说。
1 回复 路不平 2011-5-21 03:07
为什么?因为他们有钱。

有钱使得鬼推磨呢:
http://my.backchina.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=258692&do=blog&id=111918
1 回复 pengl 2011-5-21 03:27
“钱=权”放之四海而皆准
0 回复 weihua99 2011-5-21 04:07
无论共和党还是民主党都是靠这些财团支持的,所以两党的总统和内阁都必须服务于这些财团,更不敢得罪这些财神爷。这次次贷危机涉及面太广,政府不可能把华尔街一网打尽,要不然谁来撑起华尔街呢?且不是要把纽约的金融地位让给伦敦,法兰克福。。。政府和财团是不甘心把华尔街这颗摇钱树让位于其他国家。这次危机除了个别人早期获利外,政府,财团,百姓都是输家。美国政府这次无所作为,其实是国家利益所然,以保证美国的金融霸权,乃至全球霸权。
1 回复 pengl 2011-5-21 04:10
weihua99: 无论共和党还是民主党都是靠这些财团支持的,所以两党的总统和内阁都必须服务于这些财团,更不敢得罪这些财神爷。这次次贷危机涉及面太广,政府不可能把华尔街一 ...
对,这些都是公开的秘密。只是连杀一儆百略表姿态都没有,难怪雅虎网民一面倒地谴责。
1 回复 在美一方 2011-5-21 04:10
DB
1 回复 丹奇 2011-5-21 04:10
pengl: (这是咱对丹奇的博文“一个美国人的反思:“中国有限公司””的回复)
在大的经济难题上,美国是随便说(广开言路,可以评可以骂)没法做(利益团体势力太强,只 ...
呵呵,咱抛砖引玉,果然璀璨!
1 回复 Cristal 2011-5-21 04:13
嗯,有道理。美国人是在玩全世界人
0 回复 pengl 2011-5-21 04:14
丹奇: 呵呵,咱抛砖引玉,果然璀璨!
在国内,这么大的漏子(几万亿,人均损失1-2万美元),还不得抓一批关一批,以平民愤啊。
1 回复 homepeace 2011-5-21 04:15
美国模式的贪腐
0 回复 pengl 2011-5-21 04:15
Cristal: 嗯,有道理。美国人是在玩全世界人
短期可以,长期的负担都留给下一代。
1 回复 seamandh 2011-5-21 04:17
Pengl无法度啊!华尔街的忽悠水平就是高!所以,逍遥法外~~
1 回复 pengl 2011-5-21 04:18
homepeace: 美国模式的贪腐
监管的缺失,法律的漏洞啊。只是交了几万亿学费后,啥也没学。银行变得更大。Too big to fail 更成了真理。
1 回复 homepeace 2011-5-21 04:21
pengl: 监管的缺失,法律的漏洞啊。只是交了几万亿学费后,啥也没学。银行变得更大。Too big to fail 更成了真理。
问题是:这些监管的缺失,法律的漏洞都是人为制造的。
1 回复 丹奇 2011-5-21 04:21
pengl: 在国内,这么大的漏子(几万亿,人均损失1-2万美元),还不得抓一批关一批,以平民愤啊。
估计也很难。如果是触及利益集团,恐怕是同样的结果。顶多是表层动动,难深入下去。因为中国的关系更加盘根错节。利益关联。
1 回复 weihua99 2011-5-21 04:25
pengl: 对,这些都是公开的秘密。只是连杀一儆百略表姿态都没有,难怪雅虎网民一面倒地谴责。
杀谁好呢?次贷,这可是美国的全民运动。我估计等美国的经济稳定转好了,会抓几个替死鬼,给百姓一个交代。美国现在的政策估计也是稳定压倒一切。
0 回复 pengl 2011-5-21 04:26
homepeace: 问题是:这些监管的缺失,法律的漏洞都是人为制造的。
都是游说立恶法(都是合法的)的结果。所以影响祸害所有人的游说,可能比贿赂还糟糕。
1 回复 燕山红场 2011-5-21 04:28
绝对是人为制造的!
1 回复 pengl 2011-5-21 04:29
丹奇: 估计也很难。如果是触及利益集团,恐怕是同样的结果。顶多是表层动动,难深入下去。因为中国的关系更加盘根错节。利益关联。
同意。只是金融大危机过了近5年,表面文章都没有。
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