Many commentators have put forward their explanations for there being no criminal prosecutions of any of the banks, not even Goldman Sachs, who certainly helped bring down the financial system and contributed to The Great Recession. According to Danny Schechter's article entitled, Will banksters get away with it? found on Mike Chambers Live blog, the explanation for no prosecutions is to be found in the focus on the institution rather than the individual in the institution.
The changes to the financial sector were made for the advantage of the institution rather than for the benefit of all American citizens. Schechter's column lists 10 changes in the economy that paved the way for the success of the banks that, ironically, created the failure of the financial system.
These are summarized as follows:
The banks made large investments towards lobbying politicians; they created exotic derivatives that some could not understand; the regulators ignored the possibilities of fraud; the media was compliant rather than inquisitive; fines, rather than criminal prosecutions, were used to "punish" banks which did not have to admit their guilt; the conglomeration of many businesses into one entity created large unmanageable institutions; the lack of rules and regulations nationally and internationally gave banks too much power; few or no intense investigations by the Justice Department gave banks carte blanche; and, finally, the criminality and immorality of banks like Goldman Sachs were just ignored and overlooked.
You can read the entire article here
GoldmanSachs666 Message Board
According to the Collins English Dictionary 10th Edition fraud can be defined as: "deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage". In the broadest sense, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation. Defrauding people or entities of money or valuables is a common purpose of fraud, but there have also been fraudulent "discoveries", e.g. in science, to gain prestige rather than immediate monetary gain
*As defined in Wikipedia