As far as putting an executive in jail, financial regulators have insisted that doing so would be too costly.
So the first line of defense for a bad guy like me is the swamp that is Washington D.C. They have enough committees and hearings and timid officials to ensure that the very worst penalty my banker will have to face for doing business with me is a stiff fine. Assuming they catch us.
But guess what? The chances that I get caught are diminishing all the time. That's because banks are crying poor--blaming the poor economy for cutting back on staffing and technology to detect suspicious activity, according to Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry.
At the same time, as
pointed out Thursday, (yeah I read
) online banking and prepaid cards and mobile payments make it increasingly easy for me to move my dirty money.
So, again, as a drug lord or a terrorist, I'm still feeling relatively welcome at my local (or virtual) bank branch. Elizabeth Warren can keep pounding her fist all she likes.
Written by Dan Freed in New York