After seven years of Obama Administration policy forbidding criminal prosecution of individual banksters, the Department of Justice just promised, by golly, we’ll start enforcing the laws after all. I so totally believe them, how about you?
In a move that can only mean a presidential election campaign is upon us, the Justice Department said it is finally going to pursue individual white-collar criminals.
Pardon my cynicism, but after so much failure to prosecute, I remain doubtful that much if anything has changed. The onus is on the Justice Department to show that it’s serious by way of actions, not words in a memo.
And lookee here. The statue of limitations has expired on many of the crimes.
After the most target-rich environment for white-collar prosecution ever, the nation’s top prosecutors have suddenly realized that “Hey, crimes! We should do something about that!” By what must be the sheerest of coincidences, almost all statute of limitations on the oodles of white-collar misdeeds committed during the financial crisis have expired.
And yes, Attorney General Holder made it quite clear that prosecuting banker criminals would just be so onerous to the banking system it could not be allowed. I’m sure he will be amply rewared by the very same bankster slime for refusing to do his sworn dury, now that he is out of office.
By issuing its new memorandum the Justice Department is tacitly admitting that its experiment in refusing to prosecute the senior bankers that led the fraud epidemics that caused our economic crisis failed. The result was the death of accountability, of justice, and of deterrence. The result was a wave of recidivism in which elite bankers continued to defraud the public after promising to cease their crimes. The new Justice Department policy, correctly, restores the Department’s publicly stated policy in Spring 2009. Attorney General Holder and then U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch ignored that policy emphasizing the need to prosecute elite white-collar criminals and refused to prosecute the senior bankers who led the fraud epidemics.
If this happened in a Latin American or African country we would make mocking comments about how corrupt they were.