Too Far In The Other Direction?

Less than a month after the demise of Lehman Brothers Iceland’s banking sector had a meltdown in September 2008. Geir Haarde the then prime minister nationalized the 3 largest banks in an effort to stabilize the situation but the Atlantic Island nation ended up with billions of dollar in debt instead. Haarde was ousted in 2009 and now Iceland’s parliament has voted to press charges against him in an effort to take a concrete step to make politicians accountable for the 2008 banking crisis and its aftermath. It is a controversial move and the measure passed by a narrow margin since some do not see this as criminal negligence. Regardless of Mr. Haarde’s case the whole issue of holding politicians accountable even in a court of law is worth pondering. Making such accountability a criminal offense does seem harsh, however. And yet it brings to mind that in the U.S. private individuals have yet to be held accountable criminally or otherwise for their role in the banking demise, though their actions had a harmful impact on many thousands. Did we go too far in the other direction?