It there was ever a message from our government, it's this. If someone has enough money and power, they can get away with anything. There will be no consequence and no punishment for the rich and powerful.
Once again, Goldman Sachs gets completely away with it. The Department of Justice, closed the books on pursuing Goldman Sachs. Now this is most interesting, you cannot find the statement, press release, nothing on the DOJ website or anywhere. Some claim the DOJ statement is in Goldman Sachs 10-Q, but no, not there either.
About the only place you can get the DOJ statement, it appears, is ABC News, second hand and not directly uploaded.
Based on the law and evidence as they exist at this time, there is not a viable basis to bring a criminal prosecution with respect to Goldman Sachs or its employees in regard to the allegations set forth in the report.”
“The department and its investigative partners conducted an exhaustive review of the report and its exhibits, independently gathered and scrutinized a large volume of other documents, and tenaciously pursued potential evidentiary leads, including conducting numerous witness interviews,” the Justice Department’s statement continued. “While the department and investigative agencies ultimately concluded that the burden of proof to bring a criminal case could not be met based on the law and facts as they exist at this time, we commend the hard work of those involved in preparing the report and thank the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for its cooperation in regard to the criminal investigation.
According to Dealbook, it's rare for the DOJ to make any sort of statement on a criminal investigation, yet to do so, yet not make the statement publicly available is also strange.
Guess who else isn't doing anything about Goldman Sachs? The SEC. They too ended their investigation into a $1.3 billion subprime mortgage deal and are not going to take any action. Again, no press release, this news comes literally from Goldman Sachs.
Separately, Goldman Sachs announced early Thursday that the Securities and Exchange Commission had ended an investigation into a $1.3 billion subprime mortgage deal, taking no action. The move was an about-face for the commission, which notified the bank in February that it planned to pursue a civil action.
Our investigation of the origins of the financial crisis revealed wrongdoing and failures among mortgage lenders, banking regulators, credit rating agencies and investment banks. One of those investment banks, Goldman Sachs, created complex securities that included “junk” from its own inventory that it wanted to get rid of. It misled investors by claiming its interests in those securities were “aligned” with theirs while at the same time it was betting heavily against those same securities, and therefore against its own clients, to its own substantial profit. Its actions did immense harm to its clients, and helped create the financial crisis that nearly plunged us into a second Great Depression.
Those are the facts the subcommittee found. Whether the decision by the Department of Justice is the product of weak laws or weak enforcement, Goldman Sachs’ actions were deceptive and immoral. That’s why I and others fought so hard to include tough new conflict-of-interest provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, to help ensure that Wall Street could no longer engage in such blatant behavior.
Yesterday’s announcement makes it even more important that regulators implement Dodd-Frank with rules that do not water down it down, and that they enforce those rules with vigor. The integrity of our financial markets and the strength of our economy demand that we make sure that actions such as Goldman Sachs’ and other recently discovered misdeeds by financial institutions are ended.
The original hearing on Goldman Sachs exposed Abacus synthetic CDOs as being stuffed with toxic assets and sold to unsuspecting
The DOJ has been so MIA, the conservative group GAI, put together a study on the lack of criminal prosecutions against the banks. Conservative or not, the DOJ has routinely given the banksters a free pass.
- The Department of Justice has not filed a single criminal charge against any top executive of an elite financial institution.
- Attorney General Holder, Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, Associate Attorney General Tony West, and Deputy Associate Attorney General Karol Mason all came to the DOJ from prestigious white-collar defense firms, where they represented the very financial institutions the DOJ is supposed to investigate.
- Top DOJ officials played prominent roles in his 2008 campaign.
- Holder co-chaired the campaign with Tony West, the DOJ’s third highest official. No other modern administration has staffed the DOJ with big money fundraisers. Holder bundled $50,000 for Obama’s 2008 campaign, while Perrelli, West, and Mason all bundled $500,000 for the campaign. West also helped raise an estimated $65 million in California.
- Washington’s “Revolving Door” is at work in the DOJ. Top Justice officials came from and returned to law practices where they defend the financial institutions the DOJ is tasked with prosecuting.
Zerohedge put up a table of Chuck Schumer's campaign contributions. At the top of the list is Goldman Sachs. New York Senator Charles Schumer is on the Senate Banking, Finance and Judiciary committees.
What is also astounding is the lack of outrage from most financial sites. The Progressive site Our Future covered the most details on the lack of prosecutions from the DOJ. It seems all political flavors of the uncorrupted are calling out the Justice Department.
The Justice Department's argument for inaction seems to come down to this: Bank cases are complicated. They're hard to win. We don't want to try. And it has repeatedly used an argument that's also been made by the President and Treasury Secretary as well, as they've tried to explain away the inactivity: that bad banking behavior isn't necessarily criminal behavior. That claim's been repeated many times, especially in the context of "ABACUS" and other Goldman Sachs misdeeds contained in the Coburn/Levin report.
But it's not true. It's already illegal to lie to clients, to knowingly conceal important information from in order to get their money under false pretenses, or to withhold materially important information from shareholders. And yet that flimsy argument seems to lie at the core of the DOJ's explanation for once again declining to pursue the evidence wherever it may lead.
Former NY Attorney General Elliot Spitzer sums it up best to express our disgust at the lack of criminal prosecutions:
I can say what we are all thinking: Really? Are you kidding me? Wall Street continues to get away scot-free? The Justice Department prosecutes Roger Clemens for perjury—spends countless resources, hours, and energy worrying about steroids in baseball—yet seems incapable of making cases against the big Wall Street firms that engineered the greatest lies, frauds, and scams in our economic history. I am as outraged, disappointed, and furious as you are. Have they no backbone, shame, or sense of what justice is all about? It does nothing for my already waning faith in this Justice Department.
Ya got that right Elliot. The lack of justice for financial crime of the big banks is symptomatic of America's real problem. Government has become so corrupted at this point it's hard to imagine the United States ever recovering and returning to her former days of strength and glory.