MiB: Jesse Eisinger on Why No One Went to Jail

This week, we sit down with journalist Jesse Eisinger, author of The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives. He was previously at the Wall Street Journal, TheStreet.com and Conde Nast Portfolio, and is currently at Pro Publica, where he won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on various CDOs.

Like many of us, he was perplexed by the lack of prosecution following the financial crisis. The obvious paper trail at various banks and brokers should have made winning prosecutions not terribly difficult. The issue of why white collar criminals are treated with such respect, and afford rights not available to blue collar criminals.

Eisinger traces the collapse of Enron for accounting fraud, and its auditor’s Arthur Andersen’s corporate death penalty, as the start of the unraveling of the Justice Department’s ability to actually win in court.  A series of astounding events took place as the credit crisis was building; by the time the economy melted down, the prosecutorial arm of the government had effectively been neutered not accidentally, but by design.

All of the books he references can be found here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras, on iTunesSoundcloudOvercast, and Bloomberg. Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunesSoundcloudOvercast and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak Rich Barton, CEO and co-founder of Zillow, founder of Expedia, and co-founder of Glass Door.




Jesse Eisinger’s Book

The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives by Jesse Eisinger


Jesse Eisinger’s Favorite Books

Den of Thieves by James B. Stewart

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough

A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam by Neil Sheehan

Dispatches by Michael Herr

1984 by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Prejudices: The Complete Series by H. L. Mencken

The Vintage Mencken: The Finest and Fiercest Essays of the Great Literary Iconoclast by H.L. Mencken

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays by Joan Didion

The White Album: Essays by Joan Didion


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Posted Under