Last night, I watched the movie “All the President’s Men” again. It reminded me that when President Richard Nixon’s administration created a criminal enterprise at the highest levels of U.S. government, most of the participants ended up in prison. That led me to the recollection that when deregulation of the savings and loan industry opened up the opportunity for criminal activity, large numbers of bankers who took that opportunity went to prison.
That was the 20th century. In the first decade of this century, the large-scale criminal activity — torture, kidnapping and indefinite detention — orchestrated at the highest levels of our government went unpunished, and bankers who took advantage of bank deregulation to break the law received bonuses rather than prison sentences.
What happened to the rule of law?