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Should Wall Street executives be criminally charged for their roles in the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis?

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Last answered 13secs ago

Wall Street Accountability Poll Results

Yes

814,409 votes

77%

No

245,272 votes

23%

Distribution of answers submitted by America.

2 Yes answers
3 No answers
0 overlapping answers

Data includes total votes submitted by visitors since Oct 20, 2013. For users that answer more than once (yes we know), only their most recent answer is counted in the total results. Total percentages may not add up to exactly 100% as we allow users to submit "grey area" stances that may not be categorized into yes/no stances.

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* Data estimated by matching users to U.S. Census data block groups via the American Community Survey (2007-2011)

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Data based on 30-day moving average to reduce daily variance from traffic sources. Totals may not add up to exactly 100% as we allow users to submit "grey area" stances that may not be categorized into yes/no stances.

Data based on 30-day moving average to reduce daily variance from traffic sources. Totals may not add up to exactly 100% as we allow users to submit "grey area" stances that may not be categorized into yes/no stances.

Learn more about Wall Street Accountability

Since the 2008 financial crisis, no Wall Street Executives have paid fines or gone to jail for their roles in selling fraudulent mortgage backed securities to investors. Instead of criminal charges, the six largest U.S. banks have paid over $70 Billion in fines to the U.S. Government. As part of the settlements, none will have to admit to any wrongdoing. Opponents argue that these fines are enough and jailing top Wall Street Executives will de-stabilize our financial system. Proponents argue that the fraud committed by the banks are criminal and the individual executives who orchestrated them should be fined and jailed.  See recent Wall Street news

More stances on this issue

They should be investigated and charged as an ordinary citizen would be charged. By the law that is on books and punished as stated in that law. 7mons ago from a Libertarian in Spring Hill, TN.

Only if the members of the federal, state and local government who helped pass the laws that paved the way for the 'crisis' are also prosecuted. Many of these executives were only following laws passed by people who had, and have, no knowledge of how the world of private enterprise works. 7mons ago from a Libertarian in Baxley, GA.

Unfortunately I doubt they can be jailed because the laws are not clear enough or protect them from their morally reprehensible behavior . The laws need to change for the future so this is the last time we need to face this kind of a financial disaster. We need deterrence laws for this industry. 7mons ago from a Democrat in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.

If it can be proven that they violated the law, prosecute them. But then the government doesn't enforce a lot of immigration law, so might as well forget the Wall St. prosecutions. 7mons ago from a Republican in Leominster, MA.

They should be investigated and charged if fraud is found. In addition, gov't workers and politicians who were involved should face the same investigation/indictment. 7mons ago from a Republican in Peoria, AZ.

Finding and blaming scapegoats (in most cases by attacking companies that bought firms with problems) is not helpful. In no large cases that have come to light have criminal behaviour been shown. In any cases where there is criminal activity then charges should be filed but this has and should be mostly a state activity. 7mons ago from a Republican in Larchmont, NY.

You have to break the law to be criminally charged. You don't charge someone with a crime because you did not like the outcome. Congress passes the laws and no laws were broken. How that is possible is due to the lack of legislation. You can't break it if it's not legislated. 7mons ago from a Republican in Dallas, TX.

Both government and wall street are to blame. Don't know if $70 Billion was enough. The banks are sure making a killing with their higher interest rates since their bailout. No one bailed me out. 7mons ago from a Republican in Seymour, TN.

Yes if they did something crimmanily wrong, however the likes of barney frank & chris dodd should be held responsible also. The community reform act caused the problem and fed. gov't extortion of the banks because of this law caused the ecomny to tank. 7mons ago from a Republican in Lincoln Park, MI.

Levy stiff fines onto every person, whether lawmaker or financial executive, for allowing the subprime mortgage crisis to happen. Money people understand what a stiff penalty it is to them to have to pay for their transgressions. 7mons ago from a Libertarian in Cleburne, TX.

Reference question on question above. As far as worry about de-stabilizing our financial system? Have you lost your mind? It is already de-stabilized thru stimulus, The Fed's monetary policy and TARP. When this Piper gets paid you will truly understand the meaning of pain. 7mons ago from a Libertarian in Springboro, OH.

Yes as well as the Congress, Senate, and every Presidential Administration since Carter for continuing to support the laws that required financial institutions to make bad mortgage loans in the first place. 7mons ago from a Republican in Littleton, CO.

Lawmakers are as much to blame as the CEO's. If it can be proven that anyone benefited from these poor decisions then they should be prosecuted including law makers. 7mons ago from a Republican in Des Moines, IA.

Only to the extent that some violated federal law. The real issue is federal policies that distorted the free market, incentivising mal-investment, creating bubbles, which ultimately pop. 7mons ago from a Libertarian in Corrales, NM.

Yes and so should every homeowner who bought a house they knew they could not afford, or refinanced and took out equity that didn't exist so they could skiing in Vail. 7mons ago from a Republican in Charleston, SC.

All the people who committed any felonies or fraud should pay the appropriate penalty (jail and fines) -- that includes politicians, Fed Reserve and other bankers and wall street. No bonuses. 7mons ago from a Republican in Windsor, WI.

Gov required banks to loan money to those who could not may the loans back, thus creating a bad situation. Those that backed that demand should be forced to pay off the bad loans themselves. 7mons ago from a Republican in Stewartstown, PA.

It is both an executive and governmental failure. Those executives should be charged, but without investigating how the laws were formed for their use in creating the crisis, it will simply happen again. 8mons ago from a Green in Dayton, OH.

Lawmakers as well as the Wall Street Executives and Bankers and Activist Groups such as ACORN should be criminally charged for their roles in the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. 8mons ago from a Republican in Rocky Ford, CO.

No. But government employees and officials should be penalized, fired and maybe held criminally liable for forcing mortgage companies and banks to lend money to people who were financially at risk. The free money offered by Fannie Mae was criminal in nature and was the primary cause of our financial crisis. The administration and democrats forced them to lend the money. 8mons ago from a Republican in Pflugerville, TX.

If you have committed a crime then you should be accountable.........Bankers and Congressmen........clergymen, US Presidents, teachers, celebrities , ambassadors, youth, animals..............accountability is word where ignorance is no excuse. The offended should be the only party to have a say in leniency . 8mons ago from a Republican in Ocala, FL.

Executives should be charged only if they broke the law. 8mons ago from a Republican in Yulee, FL.

Clinton created this mess with his "No money down" dictate and forced the lending institutions in giving ARM loans to people who did not qualify. 8mons ago from a Republican in Prescott Valley, AZ.

Don't know enough about what actions if any have already been taken to have a stance. 8mons ago from a Republican in Greenville, SC.

For every 4 bankers punished there should be 1 regulator similarly punished for failing to recognize the need to nip the misdeeds in the bud. The SEC and the members of Congress and Senate who failed to recognize a problem should be called out. Who's to call them out? Perhaps that's the Senates job. It's the job of Congress to see that the Executive branch has clear mandates as to moral guidance of our financial system, it's the Executive branch's job to follow mandates in a timely manner, and the Senates job to overview this synthesis. Members of House of Reps need to reach out to the general population more energetically and avoid relying on the most aggressive groups or individuals to inform them. 8mons ago from a Green in Potwin, KS.

Don't know enough about this. 8mons ago from a Libertarian in Brentwood, CA.

The government needs to take responsibility for their fair housing act forcing banks to make loans they knew were marginal. Can not blame the banks for finding a way to dump risky loans they did not want to make to begin with. The government needs to stay out of the picture in the markets unless fraud is detected. 8mons ago from a Republican in Beechgrove, TN.

I haven't seen evidence of crime. If crimes were committed, they should be prosecuted. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Porter, TX.

All the executives at the highest level of all the major banks and Wall Street firms, for their roles in the subprime mortgage crisis should be criminally charged, all their wealth should be confiscated and they should not be allowed to do any kind of work related to banking, finance, foreign currency, trading with the stocks. 8mons ago from a Green in Cos Cob, CT.

All those who contributed to the crises weather lawmakers or executives should be held financially accountable and be criminally charged as well and should never again be allowed to hold office or work at a financial institution. 8mons ago from a Republican in Mount Wolf, PA.

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