If we don't bust up Big Finance, there soon will be another financial crisis that will destroy what's left of our middle-class way of life. For all the damning evidence you’ll ever need about Wall Street corruption, take a look at the recent report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, “Wall Street and the Financial Crisis:
An Anatomy of a Financial Collapse” (PDF). The 650-page indictment reveals the myriad of ways Wall Street lies, cheats, steals and defrauds on a routine basis. Arguably the report is as revealing as the Nixon tapes or the Pentagon Papers. Unfortunately, it’s too technical to get widely read. So here are the Cliff Notes.
This study, broken into four case studies, forms a biblical tale of how toxic mortgages were born, nurtured and spread like the plague throughout the land, making money for the financial philistines every step of the way.
The first case study focuses on Washington Mutual (WaMu), the nation’s largest savings bank, and its overt strategic decision to go big into selling high risk, high profit mortgages. Here you will find a detailed description of every type of dangerous mortgage foisted onto the public.
Your blood pressure also will climb when you read how the bank used focus groups to help its mortgage brokers find better ways to sucker customers into risky mortgages even though the applicants had qualified for and wanted safer fixed-rate mortgages.