Goldman Sachs was in the spotlight last November when demonstrators protested outside its Washington offices against executive bonuses. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hiding behind the complexities of our financial system, banks and other institutions are being accused of fraud and deception, with Goldman Sachs just the latest in the spotlight. This has become the most pressing election issue of all

The global financial crisis, it is now clear, was caused not just by the bankers’ colossal mismanagement. No, it was due also to the new financial complexity offering up the opportunity for widespread, systemic fraud. Friday’s announcement that the world’s most famous investment bank, Goldman Sachs, is to face civil charges for fraud brought by the American regulator is but the latest of a series of investigations that have been launched, arrests made and charges made against financial institutions around the world.

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