Wall Street isn’t an economics story, it’s a crime story

Reforming Wall Street

More than 700 people joined Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rolling Stones Matt Taibbi during a series of two town meetings in Burlington, Vt., on Friday to focus attention on the growing power and influence of Wall Street. The town meetings highlighted how we can reform Wall Street and protect middle class families throughout the United States.

Taibbi said he first really began to understand the abuses on Wall Street after reading a book he found at a library sale in New Brunswick, N.J., about the greatest con men in history. All of these cons triggered something in my mind. The subprime mortgage crisis was essentially a gigantic con scheme, Taibbi said. These were phony, AAA-rated securities. I stopped thinking about the Wall Street story as an economics story and started thinking about it as a crime story. It started to make a lot of sense to me.

Matt has had the courage and the ability to take a look at one of the most important issues facing not only our country, but the entire world and write about it in a way that ordinary people can understand, Bernie said. These banks are so powerful, they have become untouchable, Bernie said, noting Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. now says the Justice Department may not pursue criminal cases against big banks because filing charges could destabilize the economy.

Watch Bernies town meeting »
Read Bernies bill to break up the big banks »

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