Chapter 2: The financial crisis: An alternative interpretation - Part I
The first decade of the twenty-first century exemplifies the macroeconomic boom-bust-boom cycle. By 2007 and 2008, the economy dropped to historic lows last seen during the Great Depression. In the drama that unfolded as the 'Great Recession,' banks, Wall Street executives, government officials, investors, and home buyers were all eventually cast as both villain and victim. In the ensuing mess of finger-pointing, bailouts, and cries for reform, the arch-villain emerged: Bernie Madoff. He bilked thousands of investors out of billions of dollars. Madoff certainly was not the only Ponzi architect, though he was perhaps the biggest. Since Madoff's scheme collapsed, authorities have uncovered Ponzi schemes of all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, for those who fell under the Ponzi spell, their ability to seek restitution is both incomplete and inconsistent. The aim of this chapter is to add to the existing literature by identifying the relationship between white collar crime and the 2007 financial crisis. The main area of discussion, debate and commentary in this chapter is the link between the financial crisis and white collar crime. The chapter identifies several examples that support the contention that this relationship is as significant a variable as any that contributed towards the financial crisis. The examples include, inter alia, subprime mortgages and mortgage fraud, CRAs, predatory lending, Ponzi schemes and the 'Financial War on Terror'. Every great crisis reveals the excessive speculations of many houses which no one before suspected.
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