The Case for the Corporate Death Penalty by
Publication Date: 2017-01-31
This very enigmatic title refers specifically to the dissolution of US banking giants as an appropriate penalty for their perpetration of fraud on the US public. The authors, law professors, indict the US government for not indicting the US megabanks and their senior executives, who have never been prosecuted for their role in the global financial crisis of 2007/2008. They are careful not to claim that fraud has occurred, because none of the potential violators have been brought to trial. But that is their very concern. In detailing the cases of Countrywide Financial, AIG Financial Products Group, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman, Sachs, among others, Ramirez and Ramirez find ample evidence to proceed with criminal indictments. They suggest that the government’s reluctance even to prosecute stems from the existence of a government-financial industry complex that protects the megabankers and their institutions. Similar concerns but different explanations may be found in Judge Jed S. Rakoff, “The Financial Crisis: Why Have No High-Level Executives Been Prosecuted?” The New York Review of Books (January 9, 2014); Matt Taibbi, “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?” Rolling Stone (March 3, 2011), and PBS Frontline, "The Untouchables."