Cubbie’s comments were not aimed at the Lytle-Valadez case but rather the overall attitude in the subprime mortgage market that lasted until it crashed in 2007. That hear-no-evil, see-no-evil approach allowed unscrupulous local brokers to game the system and feed the demand created by national lenders and securities dealers.

“If you’re going to prosecute any of these guys on the local level, you need to prosecute those guys too,” Cubbie said, referring to the national players.

Good stuff.

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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. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.