If Not Joe Cassano, Then Who? This Wall Street Journal article notes that previous economic collapses have been followed by notorious criminal trials of alleged evildoers. But, so far, the collapse of 2008-2009 has not.

At one point, Joseph Cassano was thought to be the most likely candidate, having been fingered by the financial story-teller Michael Lewis as "the man who crashed the world." But when the federal government decided to drop both criminal and civil charges against Cassano, it began to seem as though criminal businessmen might not be found to lie at the heart of the world's economic problems, frustrating the standard anti-capitalist narrative. (Investigations into the role of power-seeking bureaucrats are not to be expected.) For true believers, however, it should be noted that New York State attorney general Andrew Cuomo continues his Javert-like pursuit of Cassano.

Insider Trading. Here is the latest from the Galleon case:  Plate Pleads Guilty in Galleon Insider-Trading Case : "David Plate . . .pleaded guilty to two criminal counts and is cooperating with the government. Plate [said} that he bought 50,000 shares of Axcan Pharma Inc. in November 2007, based on insider information that originated with two lawyers at the law firm Ropes & Gray." But why is that illegal? 

Bounty Hunters. "I sold you and you sold me." So went the song from 1984. And now, as represented by the Pequot case, so goes securities law. With 10,000 regulatory commandments to violate, the potential for making big bucks from your friends' and lovers' SEC transgressions is a veritable a gold mine .

Tax Avoidance. Personally, I feel no animosity at all toward Senator John Kerry for avoiding taxes on his yacht . I have commented earlier on the issue of tax avoidance . I believe it is a good thing. At some point, of course, avoidance becomes evasion, but that is a point that should be decided by the courts, not by demagogic politicians and their flack journalists, as happened in the KPMG case. And at some point, in the emergence of an oppressive society, even tax evasion becomes the moral alternative, although where that point lies each person must judge for himself. ( Ira Stoll, as always, has more on the case.)

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