Why Wall Street could go to jail

Corporate officers were making reassuring statements about financial prospects just days before Armageddon hit their companies -- and investors' portfolios. Here's some prominent cases.

1 of 12
"It is hard for us, without being flippant, to even see a scenario ... within any kind of realm of reason that would see us losing $1 in any of these [credit default swap] transactions." -- Joseph Cassano, head of AIG Financial Products, August 2007

Time to Armageddon: 13 months

Saved by federal bailout on Sept. 16, 2008, with federal loan commitments and investments now totaling $150 billion. Under scrutiny by federal prosecutors and the SEC.
Last updated January 06 2009: 12:16 PM ET
Wall Street: It's payback time An angry mob of investors and taxpayers is assembling, and they want to see some executives' heads on pikes. The question for the courts will be, Who was just foolish with our money - and who was lying, cheating, and stealing? More
Three days that shook the world Exactly three months ago, the collapse of Lehman triggered a global financial panic. Fortune examines what happened in the 72 hours when the world's most powerful bankers met to try to save Lehman and wound up changing the face of Wall Street forever. More