Federal prosecutors target former Credit Suisse traders

A man tries to enter Swiss bank Credit Suisse headquarters in New York.

Jeremy Hobson: Today, federal prosecutors are expected to file criminal charges against some traders from the investment bank Credit Suisse, accusing them of inflating the value of mortgage bonds back in 2008. One of those traders actually surrendered to authorities this morning. These would be some of the first high-profile criminal charges, taking banks to task for alleged financial fraud.

Josh Brown of Fusion Analytics joins us now live from New York, as he does each Wednesday, for more on this. Good morning.

Josh Brown: Hi Jeremy, how are you?

Hobson: So why has it taken so long for the government to hold people accountable?

Brown: The wheels of justice move very slowly. I think the pace is now speeding up because Obama has figured out a triangulation here. What the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement both have in common is they're both disgusted with the fact that there have been no prosecutions. So this is actually a really smart move headed into the election. But I think it's about more than that. A lot of the stuff that's gone on has actually taken this long to figure out.

Hobson: And what's the precedent for that? If we go back to the Great Depression, if we look at that, how long did it take for prosecutions to take place?

Brown: You know, that's really the most interesting aspect for it. People have assumed that four years have passed and the statute of limitations and forget it. If you look at the Pecora Commission, Pecora generated thousands of pages of wrongdoings and things of that nature -- about four years after the actual crash of '29. What we got as a result of that provided about 50 years of relative financial stability. We got Glass-Steagall. We got Securities Act of '33, Securities Act of '34. So I think that's really interesting that something that important can happen so far after the fact.

Hobson: Josh Brown of Fusion Analytics, thanks as always Josh.

Brown: Thank you, Jeremy.

About the author

Josh Brown is a New York City-based financial adviser at Fusion Analytics.


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