Still “Untouchable”? Policing Wall St. 5 Years After the Crisis

September 11, 2013
by Jason M. Breslow Digital Editor

In September 2008, the outlook for the financial system couldn’t have been worse. Markets were plunging, layoffs were mounting, and Congress was scrambling. As Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned lawmakers in an emergency meeting that month, without a $700 billion bank bailout, “We may not have an economy on Monday.”

The aftermath upended countless lives. By the low point of the recession, Americans’ retirement savings had shrunk by about $2.5 trillion. More than 8.8 million jobs were lost, and roughly 3 million homes had gone into foreclosure.

Five years later, the economy is on the mend, but the legacy of the crash still reverberates. Yesterday, FRONTLINE began a two-day conversation exploring where we are a half decade after the crisis. Day 1 of the discussion examined how the meltdown reshaped the nation.

Today, we turn the focus to what it has meant for the policing of Wall Street. Five years on, not one major bank or top executive has been prosecuted for the crisis. Did federal authorities blow the case? Looking ahead, will they be tougher?

The conversation will begin below at 11:00 am and continue throughout the afternoon.

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