Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2022

Publication Citation

29 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 27 (2022)


Why have no Wall Street executives been prosecuted or convicted for actions that contributed to the global financial crisis? Scholars have documented a variety of legal, bureaucratic, economic, and political reasons for a lack of prosecutions, but one missing piece from this scholarship is a comparative perspective; other countries similar also experienced the effects of the crisis but convicted more financial executives than did the US. This article examines the financial crises and post-crisis responses in Ireland and Spain to see why they put more bankers in jail. The comparative analysis highlights several legal, economic, and political variables that partially explain the different approaches to criminal accountability and provides the necessary comparative context to evaluate reasons offered for a lack of criminal accountability in the US.

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