Thursday, May 23, 2013

To Big to Prosecute is A Myth

Attorney General Eric Holder made news earlier this year when he told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the big banks are too big too to prosecute.

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.

The recent House financial services committee hearing revealed that the Department of Justice based this assumption on no empirical evidence.

The U.S. Department of Justice appears to have neither conducted nor received any analyses that would show whether criminal charges against large financial institutions would harm the economy, potentially undermining a key DOJ argument for why the world’s biggest banks have escaped indictment.

Testimony by a top Justice official and fresh documents made public on Wednesday during a House financial services committee hearing revealed that financial regulators and the Treasury Department did not provide warnings to prosecutors weighing the economic consequences or fallout in the financial system of criminal indictments against large financial groups. DOJ also could find no records that would substantiate its previous claims that it weighed potentially negative economic or financial impacts when considering criminal charges, said Mythili Raman, acting assistant attorney general for the criminal division.

This is video Sen. Elizabeth Warren during her first Banking Committee hearing. Warren questioned financial regulators on when was the last time they took a major bank to trial. The answer they all the regulators gave is none. This was prior to the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Warren serves on the

The Obama administration has no interest in prosecuting major financial institutions. The Senate Judiciary Committee reveals that the Justice Department never had studies conducted on what the economic impact would be if major financial institutions were prosecuted. Holder never had the studies done because he never wanted to run the risk of an answer that would be unacceptable to the White House.

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