It's taken some time, but financial executives and traders who have remained largely unscathed following the 2008 financial crisis are finally facing criminal penalties for the role they played in the historic economic collapse.
Two former Credit Suisse Group traders pleaded guilty for the roles they played in the collapse last week. One trader admitted to falsifying books in an effort to artificially supporting the price of securities backed by mortgages and hiding losses as the housing market plunged, reports the New York Post. Another trader admitted to conspiracy. While these traders deal with their criminal charges, the senior executives who oversaw the alleged Credit Suisse fraud have so far not faced criminal charges.
David Higgs admitted that he along with other traders manipulated the value of securities. He said he did so at the direction of his boss, Kareem Serageldin, then the global head of the Structured Credit Group in Credit Suisse's investment banking unit. The second Credit Suisse trader, Salmaan Siddiqui, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy. These may just be the start of the criminal charges against employees and former employees of the financial firm though Serageldin is not facing any criminal charges, reports the Post.
Publicly, it's generally believed that the financial firms like Credit Suisse played a role in the collapse of the economy. The firms are thought to have played fast and loose with other people's money looking to make a quick buck without thinking of long-term consequences.
As a company usually cannot be held liable for a crime, it has been a long process holding individual traders and executives responsible for the fraud. David Higgs and Salmaan Siddiqui pleaded guilty to the Credit Suisse fraud, but so far their superiors have remain unscathed.