Breuer Takes Heat at NYU Panel on Subprime Mortgage Meltdown


The Wall Street Journal reports that sparks flew Wednesday at a New York University Law School panel about white-collar crime. The paper says, “You'd think Lanny Breuer, head of the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice, would want to avoid a panel discussion called ‘Crooks on the Loose? Did Felons Get a Free Pass in the Financial Crisis?’ Apparently not. Breuer walked into a brawl Wednesday..with former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, an outspoken critic of the Justice Department's lack of criminal prosecutions in the wake of the subprime mortgage collapse.”

The Journal continued, “Shots were fired almost immediately when the moderator Neil Barofsky, a former special inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, asked Breuer why he hasn't done more to go after those responsible for one of the country's biggest financial meltdowns in history. Elliott Spitzer chimed in, offering tips on how Breuer's office should go after alleged perpetrators of the financial crimes. Breuer stood his ground. ‘I just don't accept the fact that we haven't done anything,’ he said, pointing to a myriad of recent insider trading convictions and Ponzi scheme busts. Breuer said he finds the excessive greed risk and risk-taking that led to the 2008 global financial crisis ‘abhorrent,’ but said not all of it was criminal.”

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