I’ve said this before that I tend to stay away from news about megacorp lawsuits, partially because huge dollar numbers are like sun glare —they temporarily blind me — and partially because, while I’m greatly interested in what corporations do to us in the name of “free enterprise,” such stories lack intimacy, a personal connection.
But this one, along with the JPMorgan settlement news, is worth a comment. Ever since the economy collapsed in 2008, all sorts of people — many of whom I admire — have been loudly critical of the federal government and, in particular, of the Department of Justice, for failing to prosecute corporations for the sleazy, greedy misadventures that caused the economy to collapse and people to lose their homes.
Yes, we want these amoral characters to go to prison and we’d prefer the CEOs, rather than underlings, to take the rap.
Still, I do like pointing out when the DOJ has a victory, even if it’s only in money terms, not prison ones. Morgan Stanley Reaches $1.25 Billion Mortgage Settlement – NYTimes.com. And this one is especially satisfying because it accuses Morgan Stanley of making false claims about mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — and I remember quite well the Congressional screams to demolish these two invaluable quasi-government agencies that have helped so many working people buy homes.
Clearly, this was a case of blame-the-victim, not the perp. It’s cost the perp pretty dearly ($1.25 bil is not spare change, is it?), even if no prison sentence is attached.