Attorney General Eric Holder, the highest law enforcement officer in the land, said he cannot prosecute the big banks because that would endanger the global economy. This is an admission the world is run by the banks and not governments or the rule of law. Holder testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and in answering Senator Chuck Grassley's questions said this:
I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy. And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large.
First, it is absurd to think stopping illegal financial activity would harm the global economy. What does Holder believe the financial crisis was, a help to the global economy? Below is a video clip of the entire exchange between AG Holder and Senator Grassley.
Holder goes on to claim the Department of Justice has been aggressive in pursuing legal action against those responsible for the financial crisis. Are you kidding me? He just gave a free pass to any executive to do whatever they wish, as long as their institution is large.
Chuck Grassley along with Senator Sherrod Brown have been trying to stop TBTF and have asked Holder in a letter why there are no criminal prosecutions of those who caused the financial crisis of 2008 as well as the money laundering activities of large financial institutions.
Grassley's opening statement from the hearing says it all We have a leadership problem at the Department of Justice in not going after financial crime, fraud and putting those responsible in jail.
Failure to Prosecute Banks Deemed “Too Big to Fail”:
The Department continues to follow through with an unfortunate policy of continually entering into civil or criminal settlements with large financial institutions that include large fines, but no jail time for the individuals who perpetrate these frauds and wreak havoc on the financial sector and individual lives. As a result, these companies settle for pennies on the dollar and the cost of these fines simply becomes the cost of doing business for these institutions. It has led many to believe that financial institutions deemed “too big to fail” by the Treasury Department are also “too big to jail”.
What is even more disturbing is that while this distinction was mostly reserved for financial crimes—a position I find flawed in its own regard—this policy appears to have seeped into other misconduct enforced by the Department. For example, in December 2012, the Department entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with HSBC, a global bank that admitted to violating federal laws designed to prevent drug lords and terrorists from laundering money in the United States. Let me repeat that, a deferred prosecution agreement for a company involved in money laundering for DRUG LORDS AND TERRORISTS.
What’s worse is that the Department publicly proclaimed a “record” settlement in this case where HSBC paid $1.92 billion to the federal government, improved its internal anti-money laundering controls, and submitted to the oversight of an outside monitor for five years. Despite the fact that this is a “record” settlement, for a bank as gigantic as HSBC, this amounts to less than 11% of HBSC’s profits last year alone, and is a bare fraction of the sums left unmonitored. Many believe that HSBC may have made a profit from the DPA because it actually made more than $1.92 billion by providing services to drug kingpins and terrorists.
I sent a letter to Attorney General Holder expressing my outrage at this DPA on December 13 asking why no employees—not even the ones who turned off the anti-money laundering filters—were prosecuted. Further, Senator Brown and I sent a letter in January seeking the rationale for why no individuals at these large financial institutions are prosecuted. The response was woeful and failed to answer our questions, leading us to question whether the Department has something to hide.
Simply put, this is a leadership problem and one that needs to be fixed quickly and will be a big part of any effort to confirm a new Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.
We've known since TARP our government is in bed with the banks and wouldn't do anything to stop them, including even demanding some executives lose their jobs. Now it's official. The Obama administration's policy is to not prosecute financial crime when a financial institution is large claiming it could disrupt the global economy. This policy gives too big to fail financial institutions Carte blanche to do what ever they want to. It's the wild west in financial land and the sheriff is hiding in the weeds.