Bernanke wanted Wall Street’s worst in jail

Ben Bernanke wanted more Wall Street bankers in jail in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Bernanke advocated for Wall Street’s bailout in 2008 during the financial crisis when he led the Federal Reserve.

He still thinks the bailout was the right call, but looking back he wishes more corrupt Wall Street bankers who helped bring on the crisis went to jail.

“You can’t put a financial firm in jail,” Bernanke told USA Today in an interview Sunday. “Everything that went wrong or was illegal was done by some individual, not by an abstract firm…there should have been more accountability at the individual level.”

Bernanke left the Fed more than a year ago and his memoir, The Courage to Act, comes out this week. It is supposed to detail life inside the Fed during the worst crisis since the Great Depression.

Bernanke and the Fed drew lots of criticism from the media and general public for bailing out Wall Street at a time of great income inequality, rising unemployment and a collapsed housing market.

On Sunday, Bernanke defended his bail out decision. He also said he wished Lehman Brothers, which collapsed into bankruptcy and was portrayed as a poster child of Wall Street corruption, could have been saved.

continue reading »

More News