Wednesday, October 7, 2015

BANK SINS | Bernanke Says Too Few Execs Indicted

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke
Should more bankers have gone to jail over the financial laxity that led to the meltdown of 2008?

Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke says yes.

The problem is, he says, that the Department of Justice has prosecuted Wall Street firms rather than individuals. In Bernanke's view, the firms are "legal fictions" and the malfeasance should have been pinned on the individuals who were profiting from it. But:
You can't put a financial firm in jail. There should have been more accountability at the individual level.
In an interview with USA Today's Washington Bureau Chief, Susan Page, related to his new book, Courage to Act, Bernanke says that the worst of the crisis was the so-called "Lehman Weekend" when Lehman Brothers became bankrupt.

He regrets he and his colleagues did not communicate better with the public when they were in the midst of the crisis in the fall of 2008. He repeats a theme of his book, that there was nothing the Fed could do to save Lehman, although at the time he did not say that.