Kroft: Why have no banking executives been prosecuted?

Steve Kroft discusses his team's five-year-long effort to unravel the financial mess of 2008

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In the summer of 2007, Steve Kroft and his producer Frank Devine began reporting on something called "subprime lending." Little did they know, they'd be following that story through five years of global economic tumult.

Their early reporting on the housing bubble in 2007 gave them the background and contacts they needed when the economy imploded in September of 2008, and during the next several years, they produced a series of extraordinary reports on the economic collapse.

"It was the scariest time in my lifetime," says Kroft. "I honestly thought we were headed for another Great Depression."

Kroft remembers thinking, at the time, that heads would roll on Wall Street, most likely resulting in prosecutions and jail time for high-level banking executives.

As we all know, that never happened.

So, Kroft followed up with several stories on accountability, trying to answer a simple question: why have no high-level banking executives been prosecuted? He and producers James Jacoby and Michael Karzis have looked at three cases: Countrywide, Citigroup, and, Lehman Brothers.

Steve Kroft says he never intended this to be a "series." He was simply covering the crisis as it unfolded. But in retrospect, we see these six 60 Minutes stories, produced over five years as an accidental series of sorts, assembled year-by-year in an effort to understand some of the most dramatic, complex events of our time.

To watch all six stories in Kroft's five years of coverage of the economic collapse,