How They Got Away with it: White Collar Criminals and the Financial Meltdown

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Susan Will, Stephen Handelman, David Brotherton
Columbia University Press, 2013 - Law - 361 pages

A team of scholars with backgrounds in criminology, sociology, economics, business, government regulation, and law examine the historical, social, and cultural causes of the 2008 economic crisis. Essays probe the workings of the toxic subprime loan industry, the role of external auditors, the consequences of Wall Street deregulation, the manipulations of alpha hedge fund managers, and the "Ponzi-like" culture of contemporary capitalism. They unravel modern finance's complex schematics and highlight their susceptibility to corruption, fraud, and outright racketeering. They examine the involvement of enablers, including accountants, lawyers, credit rating agencies, and regulatory workers, who failed to protect the public interest and enforce existing checks and balances. While the United States was "ground zero" of the meltdown, the financial crimes of other countries intensified the disaster. Internationally-focused essays consider bad practices in China and the European property markets and draw attention to the far-reaching consequences of transnational money laundering and tax evasion schemes. By approaching the 2008 crisis from the perspective of white collar criminology, contributors build a more general understanding of the collapse and crystallize the multiple human and institutional factors preventing capture of even the worst offenders.


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HOW THEY GOT AWAY WITH IT: White Collar Criminals and the Financial Meltdown

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Think Bernie Madoff was an outlier? To gauge by some of the contributors to this volume, the whole speculative economy is a vast Ponzi scheme.Indeed, notes David Shapiro, a legal/financial ... Read full review


Abuse of Power and Systemic Crisis
Americas Ponzi Culture
Bernie Madoff Finance Capital and the Anomic Society
Part II Enablers of Fraud
Mortgage Fraud Securitization
How Ponzi Schemes Lure
Part III Perverted Justice
Why CEOs Are Able to Loot with Impunityand Why It Matters
Crime in the Dutch
Economic and Financial Criminality in Portugal
Casino Economy and StateCorporate Crime
A Structural Examination of Law
epilogue Can They Still Get Away with It?
appendix A Short Global History of Financial Meltdowns

Goldman Sachs Negotiated
Part IV Perspectives from Afar

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About the author (2013)

Susan Will is an assistant professor of sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Stephen Handelman is director of the Center of Media, Crime, and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is the author of Comrade Criminal: Russia's New Mafiya, which was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

David C. Brotherton is professor and chair of sociology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center, the City University of New York. His most recent publication, with Luis Barrios, is Banished to the Homeland: Dominican Deportees and Their Stories of Exile.

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