The most important deregulatory action of the Bush Administration that explains why Goldman Sachs has not been criminally prosecuted for its role in helping to create the financial crisis of 2008 comes in the form of "guidelines" for a "softer approach" to corporate crime as explained in the article link below and in the interview. Self-regulation is a form of deregulation and a gentleman's agreement to be honest and deal fairly is not worth anything. "Deferred prosecutions" are equivalent to no prosecutions at all.
One wonders why the Obama administration is following so many of Bush's policies. These policies show how Wall Street has captured the government. Why are Bernanke and Geithner still making policy in government when they facilitated many of the actions that contributed to huge mortgage fraud and the corruption of banking?
Goldman Sachs knows it does not need to fear prosecution for its fraudulent, unethical and immoral practices. Goldman Sachs is not so golden to some people. See this article. Perhaps the only way to get public satisfaction against fraud is through the private lawsuits that may bring Goldman Sachs to heel. The government and the justice system seem to have handcuffed themselves against taking proper actions against fraud.
If, as some believe, Goldman Sachs "is a veritable indicator of the country's well-being and a major contributor to wealth and securities management" (when the wealth is for themselves and the securities have already co-opted the wealth of others) then the country will be in a lot of trouble for a long time to come!
Below is an interview with Louise Story, a reporter with The New York Times, who talks about the reasons for no criminal prosecutions for the fraud committed by Goldman Sachs and others.
Read the NPR article accompanying this interview about Why Prosecutors Don't Go After Wall Street here.
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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