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Criminalizing the Financial Crisis

Federal prosecutors say that they have more than enough legal authority to target any wrongdoing associated with the financial crisis, but apparently that's not good enough for some in Congress. The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (S. 386), sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), would add an array of new offenses and harsh penalties to federal law.

In an op-ed today, Brian Walsh and Tiffany M. Joslyn challenge FERA's basic premise: "that criminal activity caused the financial mess we're in and that prosecution can fix it." That's simply the wrong diagnosis for our current difficulties.

If that's the case, then rather than rush to criminalize, Congress should instead "make the best use of scarce federal resources, and forgo overwrought indignation and simple-minded 'tough on crime' politics."

Find more on FERA here.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.