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Off the Chart: The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Become Increasingly Irrelevant in the Wake of the Market Meltdown

April 24, 2009

By PAUL N. MONNIN

It is a matter of public record that federal law enforcement authorities are investigating dozens of companies involved in the subprime mortgage industry and related financial market meltdown.1 At the heart of these investigations is whether those who packaged and sold mortgage-backed securities to investors, or whose balance sheets—and hence share value— incorporated a significant amount of mortgage-backed assets, misrepresented the value of these instruments after they knew them to be in substantial jeopardy.