Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crisis or Fraud?

FBI investigating companies at heart of meltdown
By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer

Two law enforcement officials said Tuesday the FBI is looking at potential fraud by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and insurer American International Group Inc. Additionally, a senior law enforcement official said Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. also is under investigation.

The inquiries will focus on the financial institutions and the individuals that ran them, the senior law enforcement official said.



This is at minimum the kind of thing we should be expecting even as we consider what to do next. You had better believe that crimes were committed and that the people that perpetrated them need to be held accountable.

I'm just not seeing the emergency. That's not the same as saying we should do nothing at all. But first, let's do no further harm.

And I certainly oppose bailing out wealthy bondholders, further enriching the likes of Warren Buffett and Paulson's buddies at Goldman Sachs and in China, and then actually allowing the wizards of Wall Street to profit from their crimes. Not on the back of the taxpayer! Not when ordinary folks and families are actually about to be moved out into the street.

And maybe we need to be rethinking bankruptcy laws and student loan forgiveness. Predatory lending practices victimize people of all walks of life while they are trying to simply eek out a living.