by Beth Connolly on May 25, 2012
The Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, established by President Obama, currently has 100 U.S. and state regulators and prosecutors going after “reckless” financial crisis lawbreakers.
So far the group has issued a whopping 26 subpoenas (that’s roughly 4 regulatory officials per each subpoena.) All of them are civil, and the group is gunning up for its first civil case soon.
But, says New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, in order to truly bring the hammer down on the financial crisis villains, the group needs more people.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
“Do I want more resources, want things to go faster? Yes,” he said in an interview. “Am I asking for more? Yes. Do I believe we’ll get that? Yes.” A spokesman for the attorney general declined to specify how many extra people are needed.
Rep. Brad Miller (D., N.C.), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said it is unlikely that “100 people would really be adequate to the task of bringing several cases at the same time.”
Even if the group shies away from criminal prosecutions, it should pursue civil litigation to seek damages of “at the very least tens of billions of dollars” from Wall Street firms, he said.
Mr. Schneiderman insisted that “nothing is off the table,” though he refused to discuss the prospects for criminal prosecutions. Instead, he referred to goals that could be met by civil actions. “We’re looking for meaningful relief [from firms] and to get the facts out in the open as much as possible,” he said.
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