Soon, Andrew Cuomo will be Governor of New York, which means he will no longer be Attorney General. This could be a very bad thing for those of us in America who want the people who caused the financial crisis to stand up and face the music.
As long as Cuomo’s been Attorney General he’s pursued the shady people on Wall Street and their accountants. Today we learned Cuomo is close to filing civil fraud charges against Ernst and Young for staying silent while Lehman Brothers cooked its books and lied in its reports to stockholders and the American people.
The Justice Department has done virtually nothing and the SEC needs to have more enforcement agents that I can’t see it receiving from a Republican House.
Let's listen to how it might sound in the future: “His campaign contributions can’t be ignored as we decide whether to prosecute. Let’s watch things awhile, after all he deserves to get some slack because of his loyalty to our party.”
“You know this operation looks a lot like what Madoff did, but what if we’re wrong and we upset him. Let’s hold off until we’re sure we can absolutely get a conviction. We don’t want to be embarrassed by a big time loss in court.”
“I really want to pursue this but I don’t have enough enforcement people to get the data we need to prove this conclusively.”
So let’s remind ourselves who is not in jail: Angelo Mozillo of Countrywide, whose fines were paid by Bank of America; and Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers. There are a lot of people who brought this country to its knees who are walking around with a lot of money they earned by lying for years.
Without someone ambitious such as Cuomo, who was brought up by a former Governor lauded for his ethics, many of the miscreants are going to walk. And it will be the same as it was on Wall Street before he became Attorney General in a world where greed tops ethics every time.