08/16/2011 02:26 pm ET | Updated Oct 16, 2011

FBI Brags About Chasing Down Mortgage Fraudsters But Big Banks Are Left Untouched

In a new report , the Federal Bureau of Investigation pats itself on the back for using "sophisticated investigative techniques" to target mortgage fraudsters. The FBI's 2010 "Year in Review" mortgage fraud report says the agency has used wiretaps, undercover operatives and "tactical analysis coupled with advanced statistical correlations and computer technologies."

Not everyone is impressed.

Consumer advocates say the FBI is missing the big picture, focusing its investigative muscle on small-time crooks and turning a blind eye to misconduct by big banks.

As the financial markets roil, one of the critical factors weighing down the U.S. economy is the flood of home foreclosures. Thursday's crash underscores how difficult it will be for the economy to make significant strides while the housing market is still in tatters.