Let me try to get this straight. The Justice Department announced last weekend that it has dropped its criminal investigation into wrongdoing by the former executives of American International Group Financial Products, or A.I.G.-F.P. — the group inside A.I.G. that foolishly decided to insure billions of dollars of risk in the mortgage market, and got paid millions of dollars for doing so. So the Obama administration, which has repeatedly pilloried banking executives in an effort to build support for its financial reform package, has in one step reduced exponentially the chances of actually holding people on Wall Street accountable for the financial crisis, which was an utterly preventable self-inflicted wound. This is simply incomprehensible.
If I might offer a little advice to Mr. William D. Cohan?
While I\’m sure we can find all sorts of instances of greed, hubris, ignorance and possibly even rank stupidity in the financial markets of those times, these are not in fact criminal offences.
What should be comprehensible, even for someone writing for the New York Times, is that if no criminal offences have been committed then there is no need for either further criminal investigations nor criminal indictements.