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Enron was hardly a trivial example. And even a failed prosecution of a high ranked official, especially after having 'turned' an obviously guilty lower ranked official, would go a long way towards changing the climate of 'fraud is the business model'.
I didn't say it was trivial. I just said it wasn't the norm for what I think you have in mind. And Enron's CFO did go to jail. As did executives in the bid-rigging case involving municipal bonds (remember the Jefferson County bankruptcy?).
My point is that you can turn all the low-ranked officials you want. The CEO-/CFO-types generally aren't the ones involved.
And I think you significantly minimize the scope for prosecution that has been ignored under 'regulatory forbearance'. A high profile investigation of the NY Fed with a covert agent or another insider who came forward, were it made clear that whistle-blowers will NOW be protected, not outed, with the skills of Carmine Segarra, could be quite devastating. Hell, a Democratic Senate could convene a special committee to investigate the New York Fed and have public hearings with Carmine as the star witness. It would be electrifying: regulatory capture illustrated - with a beautiful, passionate and articulate figure who was there.
This sounds great. I'm all for it. And I'm sure all six CSPAN viewers would find it riveting. But this goes to the "What's really scary is what's legal" bit.
Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
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