A historical review is presented of public and private white collar criminal activity during the Reagan administration, such as the savings and loan and insider trading scandals, the Department of Housing and Urban Development scandal, and the Iran-Contra affair.
Alleged and actual crime and wrongdoing during the Reagan administration exceeded that of previous presidents, including Nixon, Harding, Grant, and Buchanan. Between 1980 and 1988, over 200 individuals from the Reagan administration came under either ethical or criminal investigation. The political and economic climate of the 1980's was ripe for the savings and loan scandal, the most costly financial public policy failure in U.S. history. Deregulation during the Reagan years created a climate of criminal opportunity for speculative and illegal financial activities by such individuals as Charles Keating and Herman Beebe. Insider trading scandals during the Reagan administration involved agents or brokers using confidential market information for their trading advantage and often to the disadvantage of clients and other traders. Wall Street operators like Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken made millions as they rigged stock market trading. The Reagan administration was also plagued by scandal in the Environmental Protection Agency, political and corporate corruption involving the Wedtech Corporation, illegal Pentagon procurement activities, and the Iran-Contra affair. 66 references
United States of America
Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology meetings, 1992, New Orleans