Five years ago disgraced subprime mortgage mangers left failed Bear Stearns investment bank and acquired top jobs on Wall Street. Thomas Marano, Jeffrey Verschleiser, Michael Nierenberg and Jeffrey Mayer were top executives at Bear Stearns, formerly the fifth largest investment bank in the U.S., before folding in 2008. They now hold jobs with powerful banks such as: JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Deutshe Bank.
Bear Stearns had been in business since 1923 before its 2008 closure. Executives lost sight of the standard business interests of the Bear Stearns organization for seemingly tyrannical gains. With subprime mortgages in the company’s trough for so long in a perceived rising market the scarfing resulted in collapse when a turn in the market caused investors to prematurely pull out.
The effect was a domino fashion that reverberated with Lehman Brothers collapsing and the financial system failure. The global economy was affected with mass foreclosures, employee layoffs, pay cuts, shrinking budgets, among other social calamities. The recovery has been slow and the economy still represents the catastrophe that devastated the industry.
Thomas Marano, 51, currently makes a salary of $8,030,548.00 working as a CEO. Jeffrey Verschleiser makes a comparable salary as Goldman Sachs’ head of mortgage global trading. Michael Nierenberg, 46, hired away from JP Morgan by Merrill Lynch earns a similar salary as head of global mortgages. Jeffrey Mayer, 54, head of corporate banking for Deutshe Bank makes about $12,250,000.00 in his position. The top jobs on Wall Street went to the disgraced subprime mortgage managers and they acquired huge compensation packages in the process.
In the United States $19.2 trillion of household wealth and about 8.8 million jobs were lost in the financial collapse. The Kings at the top haven’t felt a glitch as they avoid any responsibility while gliding along in similar, new positions. The question should be posed about this situation, are they readily hired because they are criminal masterminds or are they able to identify criminal trends for loss prevention purposes.
In law suits brought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, all four men were accused of making false statements in disclosures to federal regulators.
It’s clear that big business and politics go hand in hand. No charges were ever brought against these men let alone arrests. “Just because Bear Stearns went out of business doesn’t mean everybody who worked for Bear Stearns was incompetent,” said Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.)
Two Bear Stearns hedge fund executives were prosecuted by the Justice Department for fraud. Charges were that they lied to investors. Both were acquitted of all charges and no other top level Wall Street executive has been prosecuted by DOJ officials. Through all the investigations and inquiries no executive has had their license revoked or suspended.
Instead of punishment, the disgraced subprime mortgage mangers of Bear Stearns acquired top jobs on Wall Street. “You would like to see that they paid some consequence, but they really haven’t,” said Dean Baker, co-director at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
By Thomas Barr