As he ushered in a new era in Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s theme song was “Happy Days Are Here Again,” but people tend to forget that along with sunny optimism FDR delivered a strong dose of justice. He left that job to Ferdinand Pecora, a fierce New York prosecutor whom Roosevelt urged to investigate Wall Street’s perniciousness. Pecora delivered big time. He humiliated and forced the resignation of Charles Mitchell, the head of National City Bank (later Citibank), and oversaw a 12,000-page probe into the causes of the Great Depression that gave birth to a new regulatory framework, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (Pecora was later one of the first commissioners). Other Wall Streeters were prosecuted, convicted, and jailed.
Posts Tagged: Recession
What? Wall Street is choosing to do what it does best, makes piles of cash anyone they can? And now Obama is bemoaning them for “choosing to ignore” lessons they should have learned when bank after bank failed and was then bailed out by the taxpayers. Why do they even have the option of choosing to ignore those lessons? And weren’t the lessons learned supposed be brought to bear on the regulatory agencies Obama now controls? Or we could just sit back and hope the Wall Street thugs do the right thing.
I think what we’re watching unfold is a slow-motion economic depression that started back when Enron and Worldcom were gaming the system and got caught. That was the first sign, and nothing of substance has been done to fix the problem. Too much wealth is ending up in the bank accounts of the richest of the rich.
In a column published in the Christian Science Monitor, Professor of Political Science Immanuel Ness wonders whether today’s great recession will lead to a great revolution. My guess is, no it won’t. I think what will happen is that there will be a series of small struggles, mini revolutions, that will seek to chip away… Read more »