Four years after Wall Street's malfeasance dealt a telling blow
the economy, and long after tens of billions of dollars have been paid
out for banker fraud, reports
say that we're about to see the first arrests of Wall Street bank
employees. What's more, the suspects work at JPMorgan Chase -- a bank
which, ironically enough, politicians and pundits insisted was the "good
bank" after the financial crisis hit in 2008.
In fact, Chase CEO Jamie Dimon spent years speaking out forcefully against additional bank regulation. (Lately, not so much...)
Financial cases can seem complicated. What should we think about these recent announcements in the "London Whale" case?
It's good that they're finally making arrests.
Despite the overwhelming evidence of criminal behavior in a large
number of cases, this will have been the first time since the financial
crisis that a banker's been arrested on criminal charges (assuming the
arrests take place as planned, of course).
Let's be clear: These arrests are a good thing. Justice demands that
anyone, no matter who they are, be made to answer for their deeds.
What's more, bankers at "too big to fail" institutions have the power to
shatter, and even bring down, the global economy. The lack of arrests
up to this point means there's been no deterrent effect -- no reason for
them not to keep committing fraud.
But unless these arrests lead to further action -- action that's decisive and effective -- they won't nearly be enough.