Here's Why Only One Top Banker is in Jail for the Financial Crisis

Friday, May 02, 2014

crimes, financial_crisis, US former Credit Suisse executive Kareem Serageldin, January 14, 2013. He is the only major banker in jail for crimes related to the financial crisis. (ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)

On May 25, 2006, a Houston jury convicted former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling and founder Kenneth Lay of fraud, conspiracy, and other crimes related to the energy company's collapse in November 2001.

As Sean Berkowitz, former U.S. Attorney for the Department of Justice, told reporters, "The jury has spoken, and they have sent an unmistakable message to board rooms across the country: You can’t lie to shareholders; you can’t put yourself in front of your employees’ interests."

Many Department of Justice officials hoped the Enron case would strike fear in the hearts of corporate America, but just two years later, the economy was in free fall. Today, more than five years after the biggest financial collapse since the Great Depression, only one major banker has gone to prison for crimes contributing to the Great Recession. 

Jesse Eisinger, senior reporter for ProPublica, decided to find out why. The result is his story in this week’s New York Times Magazine, a piece called "Why Only One Top Banker Went to Jail for the Financial Crisis." As Eisinger explains, the lack of prosecutions relating to the crisis have deep roots in the Department of Justice.


Jesse Eisinger

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger


T.J. Raphael

Comments [1]

Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

He's money in the bank:

The one guy who went to jail for the financial crisis should be brought around from city to city as a freak exhibition: People would be allowed to throw rotten fruit at him etc.( I know its not fair to just blame this one shnook, but its all we got.)
I myself in his shoes would welcome his time in jail as a vacation paradise. I don't see him being in a cell with Bubba or Neo-Nazi's.

He's playing golf and then heading to the library to write his" woah is me" autobiography.

Now, if you told me that he was going to be drawn and quartered, well, I still wouldn't feel bad.

May. 02 2014 01:30 PM

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