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Barry Ritholtz

Meet Uncle Sam, Your Partner in Crime

Lack of criminal prosecutions for bankers, hedge funds managers and other moguls has altered the calculus -- huge fines are now a cost of doing business.

The news leaked over the weekend: Hedge-fund baron Steve Cohen and SAC Capital Advisors were about to pay a monster fine for a decades worth of insider trading and failed supervision of traders. Some prefer the term "expert networks," but - po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to.

The rules have changed, and so have the penalties. The lessons of the post-crisis era are clear: