So there you have it. Whatever the corrupting effects of the revolving door, at base Wall Street is too big to jail. This is at least in part the hangover from the Arthur Andersen prosecution. At the same time, you can indict subsidiaries and executives of companies without indicting the whole corporation, so this hardly explains the government-wide reticence to prosecute individuals. We may never know what really happened there.

 

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.