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Tag: bankers

Columnist: Justice Department Must Start Jailing Criminal Bankers

 

By Laurence Kotlikoff
Forbes Contributor

People of little means in our country are routinely being incarcerated for minor crimes. Meanwhile, big-time criminals engaging in major financial crimes that effectively involve the theft of billions of dollars from the public aren’t being prosecuted. Today we learned of yet another huge settlement by five of the largest banks operating in our country. The list includes JP Morgan, Citigroup, Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland,and UBS.

Each of these banks admitted to engaging in criminal activity. But banks don’t commit crimes. People working for banks commit crime. And when people working for banks commit crime, it’s the responsibility of our Justice Department to indict them. If our Justice Department can’t figure this out, the personnel running our Justice Department need to be fired. That’s the President’s job. So the big question here — today’s fine is $5.6 billions, so we can say the billion dollar question here is why the President continues to give Wall Street criminals a pass?

Does his political party need Wall Street contributions this much? I voted for President Obama, but this truly makes me sick to my stomach. The same is surely true of any decent American reading this article. And this is not just a matter of elemental justice. It’s also vital to the economy’s future well being. We are operating a faith-based banking system with full opacity. No one can learn how his money is really being used or misused. The government, which should be heavily involved in fully disclosing on a real-time basis what each financial corporation owns and owes is doing nothing of the kind. Instead, the Dodd-Frank bill has not only left faith-based banking in full swing. But it’s also permitted banks to continue operating with extremely high levels of leverage.

To read more click here. 

Why Aren’t the Bankers in Trouble?

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

In the wake of the financial sector’s meltdown, many were on the hunt for the blood of bankers. But convictions for wrongdoing on Wall Street have been remarkably scarce in the aftermath of the industry’s collapse–no small part of why Occupy Wall Street protestors have gathered in lower Manhattan.

A Wall Street Journal blog explains why prosecutions in the financial sector have been so slow to surface. Federal agent’s “hopes slowly gave way to frustration over how to prove criminal intent,” the blog post notes, citing former deputy assistant director of the FBI David Cardona.

Much of the Justice Department’s criminal investigations “hinge on disclosure” Cardona told the Journal. “What does adequate disclosure mean? And those are really technical arguments that sometimes get lost with a jury.”

Many of the FBI’s criminal probes into financial wrongdoing have gone nowhere, according to the Journal, including probes into top financial firms like AIG, Goldman Sachs and Washington Mutual. After a jury acquitted Bear Stearns in 2009, US officials have been wary of trying crimes in which a jury may decide losses were due to bad judgement or the market rather than actual criminality.

“Thus, cases that turn on technical issues such as disclosure are being left for civil-enforcement actions.”

To read more click here.