- Washington Post -
Since taking office at the height of the financial crisis, President Obama has promised to hold Wall Street accountable for the meltdown. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. reinforced that message in November when he vowed to prosecute Wall Street executives and others responsible for the crisis.
"We will be relentless in our investigation of corporate and financial wrongdoing, and we will not hesitate to bring charges," Holder said as he launched a financial fraud task force.
His Justice Department took steps to fulfill that promise this week when it arrested the former chairman of one of the nation's biggest mortgage firms -- the largest crisis-related criminal case -- and announced that 1,215 people have been charged with mortgage fraud since March 1. But that success masks the government's difficulties in the highest-profile investigations: those of Wall Street banks.
Nearly 1 1/2 years into Obama's tenure, despite several cases against mortgage companies whose lending practices contributed to the crisis, the administration has not brought any charges against the big Wall Street banks that took those loans, converted them into toxic securities and pumped them into the world's financial markets. Law enforcement sources say no such charges are imminent.