It is no exaggeration to say that since the 1980s, much of the American (and global) financial sector has become criminalized, creating an industry culture that tolerates or even encourages systematic fraud. The behavior that caused the mortgage bubble and financial crisis was a natural outcome and continuation of this pattern, rather than some kind of economic accident.
It is important to understand that this behavior really is seriously criminal. We are not talking about neglecting some bureaucratic formality. We are talking about deliberate concealment of financial transactions that aided terrorism, nuclear weapons proliferation, and large-scale tax evasion; assisting in concealment of criminal assets and activities by others; and directly committing frauds that substantially worsened the worst financial bubbles and crises since the Depression.
The above is an excerpt from How Financial Criminalization Crashed the Economy, and the Culprits Got Off Scot-Free, by Charles Ferguson, Director of the Wall Street documentary Inside Job. The article was published in the Huffington Post on May 23, 2012. Get the DVD of Inside Job if you haven’t already got it.