White-collar crime doesn’t get much attention in the USA (although, ironically, it gets quite a bit of attention on the USA Network). Back in 2015, researchers at Syracuse University found that American prosecutions of financial and other white-collar crimes were at their lowest levels in 20 years. As The Atlantic points out, only one banker went to jail after tanking the economy during the 2008 financial crisis. Aside from Bernie Madoff, it’s hard to even name another white-collar criminal.
This stands in stark contrast to criminal prosecutions in the U.S., particularly prosecutions of poor people of color, which have resulted in what the Washington Post calls the highest incarceration rate in the world.
To help balance the scales of justice, The New Inquiry has written a white paper on predicting financial crimes and made an interactive map of “White Collar Crime Risk Zones” available online or in an app. Simply enter your zip code and you’ll find out about potential white-collar criminals lurking in dark alleys around your neighborhood hoping to lure your children into credit default swaps or breaches of fiduciary duty. While the map could use a little more Matt Bomer, it raises important questions about law and justice.
[Photo: New Inquiry]