White-Collar Crime Episode 1: Why White Collar Criminals Get Away With It

Published on
November 25th, 2020
59 minutes

White-Collar Crime Episode 1: Why White Collar Criminals Get Away With It

The Big Picture ·
Featuring Jesse Eisinger and Quinton Mathews

Published on: November 25th, 2020 • Duration: 59 minutes

Jim Chanos recently remarked that we are in a golden age of fraud, highlighting that companies trade unaffected by credible public accusations for years before it finally catches up to them. But even after the house cards collapses, the executives in charge of these companies often go unpunished and shareholders are left holding the bag. In America, this wasn’t always the case. Pulitzer prize winning author and senior reporter and editor at ProPublica, Jesse Eisinger, penned the definitive historical account of this devolution in his book "The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives" and in this first installment of a series of interviews focussed on white-collar crime and its affects on markets with Quinton Mathews, managing member of QKM, the pair reexamine this history to explore how we got from regulatory institutions dishing out multi-year sentences in the Enron scandal to almost no prison time or charges being filed against bank executives in the GFC and the potential actions needed to remedy this broken system. Filmed on October 14, 2020. Key Learnings: Eisinger and Mathews highlight the hollowing out of the regulatory bodies charged with investigating and prosecuting these crimes and the misaligned incentivizes for ambitious young attorneys as the biggest problems. They concluded that increased funding for regulators and diversity in hiring of prosecutors are some of the many changes need to improve the system.



  • BS
    Brian S.
    29 December 2020 @ 22:48
    "If Biden is elected..." we'll get better prosecution. Can't make that up.
  • SR
    Steve R.
    25 November 2020 @ 20:39
    It seems strange that all of the issues mentioned occurred during the Clinton Administration (Holder Memorandum) or the Bush Administration (Thompson Memorandum) or during the Obama Administration (no GFC prosecutions from 2009 through 2016), but the Trump Administration is labeled the "Most Corrupt in History." It is really strange when you consider that the rank and file of the Justice Department (especially the FBI) hate Trump.
    • MH
      Martin H.
      17 December 2020 @ 23:22
      It's insane how Trump carries blame for a huge amount of stuff that would really be legacy in a first term. The system has been corrupted over time not since 2016.
    • BM
      Brook M.
      24 December 2020 @ 04:33
      I enjoyed the interview but this guest is a shining example of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome).
  • MH
    Martin H.
    17 December 2020 @ 23:41
    At the end of the day the people prosecuting these crimes want a decent career path. Prosecuting the group of people that do most of the employing isn't a great move. The incentive needs to move. Just sayin! There are a few revolving doors between oversight and the banking system for instance.
  • CH
    Charlie H.
    29 November 2020 @ 16:33
    IRS staff cutbacks likely driven partly by changes to Obamacare that curtailed or obviated the basis for IRS enforcement.
  • NC
    Nick C.
    26 November 2020 @ 17:20
    Interesting sign underneath the computer monitor
  • TK
    Theodore K.
    26 November 2020 @ 12:16
    Fantastic! This is an important structural problem that needs more attention and treatment as a systemic market risk. It's unfortunate that it only gets appropriate attention when "bubble" narratives are high.
  • SP
    Sat P.
    26 November 2020 @ 10:33
    The more fraud and corruption content I watch and read, the more obvious the parallels become to the decline of the Roman Empire. Excellent interview, well done RV for shining light on criminal activity in finance.
  • RM
    Richard M.
    25 November 2020 @ 16:14
    Wow, great interview! Kind of depressing though how badly the system has fallen. Great solutions proposed but the hurdles to bring back justice to the system will be incredibly high. Thank goodness for organizations like ProPublica!
    • MW
      Max W. | Real Vision
      25 November 2020 @ 16:32
      Another great interview on this topics is coming tomorrow with a former SEC prosecutor who is one of the main creators of the SEC whistleblower program and now has a practice helping whistleblowers win their claims. It is a great peak under the hood of how the SEC thinks. The grand finale interview is still in the works but I'd like to tease it a little by saying the potential guest is a big name in this world.