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Obama Administration Regains Conscience over Financial Frauds Leading to Recession
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After dragging its feet for years on probes over financial misconduct leading to the horrible recession, election year has reawakened the conscience of the Obama administration to the plight of the public. Of a sudden, the federal government has decided to add five financial analysts and 10 new federal prosecutors across the country to probe into the allegations of financial misconduct that precipitated the U.S. recession.

Critics are calling it a publicity gimmick, or just another way to jeopardize chosen targets with cases prior to November elections, since, for so long, the U.S. Justice Department has brought few cases against high profile targets.

In fact, the department had closed all criminal investigations without bringing charges against firms closely linked with the 2008 crash, including firms like Countrywide and AIG.


After the Justice Department lost its case against two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers in 2009, pursuing complaints against individual Wall Street players and prosecution was stopped. Enforcement authorities preached the virtue of patience explaining that most behavior that looked bad doesn’t always mean fraud.

The task force created by Barrack Obama in January has raised itself from slumber and expected to remain active until November. In January, while launching the task force to look into financial misdeeds, the president had said the force would “help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans.” After that everyone went happily to sleep to wake up now ahead of the elections.

According to the job advertisements, the department is looking for attorneys to help investigate “and pursue those responsible for misconduct in the packaging, selling, and valuing of residential mortgage-backed securities and similar financial instruments.” The department is also looking for someone who can “handle matters in court persuasively on behalf of the United States.”

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Sources report that the task force is trying to use a federal statute called the FIRREA, which might make the prosecution of relevant cases easier.

Well, better late than never.



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