Report of the Business Standards Committee
Private financial firms overwhelmingly created the conditions that led to catastrophe. The risk of losses from the loans and mortgages these firms routinely bought and sold was significantly greater than regulators realized and was often hidden from investors. Wall Street bankers made personal fortunes all the while, in substantial part based on profits from selling the same subprime mortgages in repackaged securities. Yet thus far, federal agencies have launched few serious lawsuits against the major financial firms that participated in the collapse, and not a single criminal charge has been filed against anyone at a major bank.