How Wall Street’s Bankers Stayed Out of Jail

The probes into bank fraud leading up to the financial industry’s crash have been quietly closed. Is this justice?

On May 27, in her first major prosecutorial act as the new U.S. attorney general, Loretta Lynch unsealed a 47-count indictment against nine FIFA officials and another five corporate executives. She was passionate about their wrongdoing. “The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States,” she said. “Today’s action makes clear that this Department of Justice intends to end any such corrupt practices, to root out misconduct, and to bring wrongdoers to justice.”

  • Norman_In_New_York

    This is all too true. Not only the bankers themselves were too big to go to jail, but the honchos at Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s who gave their highest ratings to crap derivatives also were never prosecuted for unmistakable fraud. Come to think about it, chopping up and scrambling mortgages to peddle as securities should be banned outright.

  • Clinton

    This Atlantic article quotes both Holder and assistant federal
    attorney general Lanny Breuer describing this administration’s policy
    of declining to prosecute banks if they decide the company or the
    economy would be adversely affected by a conviction. So, they’ve
    basically announced their decision that companies like Goldman Sachs,
    JPMorgan and HSBC are not only “too big to fail”, they’re also “too
    big to obey the law”.

    In 2012, a whistleblower at banking giant HSBC gave the DOJ evidence
    that the bank had been dealing with Iran, setting up shell accounts to
    help Mexican drug cartels launder money, and various other highly illegal
    activities. Lanny Breuer announced that the DOJ declined to prosecute
    because a conviction would result in HSBC’s loss of its banking license.
    HSBC was merely fined a sum that amounted to about five week’s worth
    of the bank’s profits. While no HSBC executive was brought up on
    criminal charges, the whistleblower was fired. This is what “too big to
    prosecute” looks like.

  • DMB
  • Cat-astrophe

    She has said the only corruption allowed, will be that committed under the auspices and spin offs of the UN.