From CNN's Your Money, it looks like the S.E.C. is as feckless as ever with reigning in these crooks. Matt Taibbi has much more over at his blog True/Slant.
ROMANS: All right. This is the ticker where each week we take you beyond the headlines. Shawn Tully is editor at large at Fortune and Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor with Rolling Stone. Let's be blunt, Matt is not a beloved figure on Wall Street these days which stems from articles like the one out in this week's Rolling Stone entitled "Wall Street's Naked Swindle." You can pick it up for all the details.
But let's examine a few of the overall themes. You say Wall Street is designed to rip off the middle class and you make the case that our economy is currently so screwed up, actually that's not the word you use, imagine a word by mistake on "SNL" and that is the word you meant. Screwed up that the rich are running out of things to steal. What's worse is that Matt argues that no one, not the S.E.C., the Federal Reserve, or the Treasury Department is making any real effort to punish the culprits.
For starters, who specifically are the culprits and why aren't they being punished?
MATT TAIBBI, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, ROLLING STONE: Well in the story that I looked specifically at two cases, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and what happened in those companies and what I found is that there was a kind of bear raid that had been happening to smaller firms in years previous to the Bear and Lehman episodes where there was sort of a pattern of credit default swaps.
People who were buying, naked short selling of these stocks, rumors being spread in the media. This was always happening in the smaller companies and hedge funds and predatory, you know, sellers were doing this to small companies.
In this instance, they did it to Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. There was a massive amount of undelivered shares and obvious evidence of naked short selling and manipulation in these instances. It was clear that they had run out of smaller companies to do this to.
ROMANS: So who did it?
TAIBBI: Well that's the problem. We don't know. This data is available to the S.E.C., it is a relatively simple matter to find out who was doing all this naked short selling but they haven't released the data and a year and a half later, they haven't made any progress in an investigation at all.