In the depths of the Great Recession, a cancer nurse, a car dealership worker, and an insurance fraud specialist helped uncover the largest consumer crime in American history - a scandal that implicated dozens of major executives on Wall Street. They called it foreclosure fraud: Millions of families were kicked out of their homes based on false evidence by mortgage companies that had no legal right to foreclose.
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Ever since Wall Street bankers cratered the global economy in 2009, federal prosecutors have barely been able to keep up with the unprecedented scale of corporate wrongdoing. Last year, in a series of high-profile settlements, Citicorp, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays, and the Royal Bank of Scotland agreed to pay more than $2.5 billion in criminal fines for manipulating the exchange rates on foreign currencies. Credit Suisse forked over $1.1 billion for helping its wealthy clients evade taxes.
We don't just have races for the presidency anymore. We have made-for-TV serial programming, with months of debates, primary-night extravaganzas, even special shows created just for primary season. The inclusion of a reality-TV star in the proceedings reinforces this, but even without Donald Trump the public image of the primary process resembles a two-year season of Survivor. And people are responding similarly: Ratings for debates have been higher than ever before.