Frontline’s inside story of the global financial crisis continued last night on PBS.
In picking up where Money, Power, and Wall Street left off (first posted here), The Untouchables is an investigation into why Wall Street’s leaders have escaped prosecution for any fraud related to the sale of bad mortgages. John Doyle at The Globe and Mail most accurately describes this latest segment as “a transfixing, enraging examination of why a small army of greedy-guts bank executives in bespoke suits, the ones who brought down an entire economy, are moseying around, fancy-free, and not in court or in the hoosegow. At the core of the program is an examination of what was at the core of the banking practices that precipitated the crisis – the banks knowingly packaged and sold toxic mortgage loans to investors. These dubious loans should never have been given in the first place. The banks knew that and merrily stepped around financial safety standards to keep the game going.”
While for many The Untouchables leaves little doubt as to the overwhelming evidence of fraud, the assistant attorney-general for the Department of Justice, a squirming Lanny Breuer, confirmed in the vaguest way possible that the banks are “too big to jail.” It was infuriating to watch.