Federal Prosecutions of Bankers Are Down 96% Since 1995

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Between the years of 2006 and 2010--which includes the height of the financial crisis--bank regulators only referred 72 cases a year to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution, a sharp decrease from the 1,837 cases submitted in 1995, according to Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. The New York Times' Gretchen Morgenson and Louise Story, trying to explain why no bankers have been prosecuted since the 2008 financial panic, point out that after several savings and loans institutions failed in the 1980s, more than 800 bank officials went to jail. "But several years after the financial crisis, which was caused in large part by reckless lending and excessive risk taking by major financial institutions, no senior executives have been charged or imprisoned, and a collective government effort has not emerged."

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