The most insidious threat to our way of life, the markets, and economy, is financial crime. As all citizens of the international community having been the victim of financial crime, this expertly crafted and superbly written work by my dear friend and colleague, Financial Crime Investigation, is especially relevant for me. The most recent example being the great recession officially lasting from December 2007 to June 2009 as the beginning with the bursting of an 8 trillion dollar housing bubble and for some never ending. Many will remember the at best unethical subprime lending practices and at worst a premeditated and organized deployment of policies that could only end in disaster. Additionally, the bundling and secularization of Mortgage Backed Securities all carrying a triple-A rating, while in reality being junk, further compounded by predatory lending practices and inflated appraisals. Most significant to the reader should be that no single individual perpetrated a significant crime, yet they all knew what they were doing was wrong. Initiated the bursting of an 8 trillion dollar housing bubble.
The above provides an excellent example for how pervasive and diabolical financial crime is, as each perpetrator from the loan originator selling adjustable rate mortgages to individuals they knew couldn’t afford them to appraisers inflating housing values and bankers repackaging and securing loan bundles, all this culminating with the rating agencies bestowing the highest AAA valuations, each a link in a chain of poor principals and nonexistent ethical practices that resulted in the global markets grinding to halt. In today’s interconnected world, even minor financial crime is a serious concern for both the markets and the citizens of all nations; it is a prolific issue that affects every individual of the community. Regardless of whether investments were in real estate or securities, Bernie Madoff bilking billions from investors made this painfully clear to many of the savviest Wall Street elite. Many lost their entire life savings without any recourse to seek reparations, and due to other shady and or unethical practices, many more lost their greatest investment, the equity in their homes, and, perhaps more significant, their security in retirement. Moreover, now facing losses, bills piling up compounded by stress, many overexerted themselves, maintained poor diets resulting in both immediate injuries, as well as the development of a range of conditions that are still to this day negatively affecting the healthcare industry! Above and beyond all that, crisis like the great recession cause several additional and significant problems.