Target: Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Goal: Bring charges against the banking executives who caused the 2008 financial crisis.
The 2008 financial crisis, which led to a world-wide recession, was not an accident or the result of incompetence. Rather, it was the result of rampant fraud at the top levels of the banking industry, perpetrated by specific individuals who ought to be in prison. Not only do these individuals still roam free, but many of them are still holding the same positions they had before the crisis. In a country where we sentence people to life in prison for simple drug charges, it is shameful to allow these perpetrators to go unpunished. Countries like Iceland have not hesitated to prosecute their criminal bank executives, and so far Iceland has made the most dramatic recovery from the recession out of any nation. By allowing these criminals to remain heads of industry, we are setting ourselves up for another crisis.
The 2008 crisis was incredibly complicated, but the causes are now well understood. The root of the collapse was undeniably the ubiquitous fraud committed by top executives at the largest banks in the country. Goldman-Sachs, the former Bear Stearns, and other major banks were all responsible for supporting fraudulent credit ratings, especially in mortgage securities (which caused the housing market bubble). When these banks decided it was time to collect on their debts, no one was able to pay them, because they had put themselves too deeply in debt due to their credit ratings being falsely elevated.
After the 2008 crash, bankers pleaded ignorance. And instead of pressing charges against those parties who were clearly guilty, the government bailed them out to prevent what they claimed would be an even worse financial crisis. So the people who inflated debt to a completely unsustainable degree, and then exploited every one of their debtors, were rewarded with billions of taxpayer dollars to keep their businesses afloat. Those same people are still running the top banks in the country. What is to stop them from doing it again?
By allowing these criminals to run our banks, we are putting ourselves at risk of another collapse of equal or greater magnitude. These are criminals, they committed fraud on a scale never seen before, and they deserve to be in prison. We urge Congress to bring charges against these financial criminals, and to do justice for the American people.
Dear Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs,
The American people will not stand for the worst financial criminals of our time roaming free and keeping their high-level jobs. The bank executives who caused the 2008 financial crisis should be in prison, and it’s obvious who they are. The top executives at Goldman Sachs, as well as the former Bear Stearns, among others, are all guilty of committing large-scale fraud. It is now well known that these bankers fraudulently elevated the credit ratings of their holdings, so that when the time came to collect on those debts, no one was able to pay. This is the root of the recession we are still struggling with, and the people responsible need to be held accountable if we want to make sure this never happens again.
If we want capitalism to work, we need to make sure that everyone is following the same rules, especially those at the very top. By committing a simple crime on a very large scale, these bankers crashed our entire economy. However instead of going to prison like they should, they were rewarded with billions of taxpayer dollars. This is evidence of a broken system in which the American people are losing their faith. If we want to fully recover from this crisis and ensure that it never happens again, we absolutely must prosecute the criminals who caused it. We urge you to bring charges against the banking industry criminals, and to do justice for our country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: CHRISTOPHER DOMBRES via Flickr