Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Too Big To Jail?

Don't kid yourself. The advent of criminal prosecutions against two of the biggest banks in the world is not what you think it is.

Giant Banks Become Target:

Federal prosecutors are nearing criminal charges against some of the world’s biggest banks, according to lawyers briefed on the matter, a development that could produce the first guilty plea from a major bank in more than two decades.

In doing so, prosecutors are confronting the popular belief that Wall Street institutions have grown so important to the economy that they cannot be charged. A lack of criminal prosecutions of banks and their leaders fueled a public outcry over the perception that Wall Street giants are “too big to jail.”

Addressing those concerns, prosecutors in Washington and New York have met with regulators about how to criminally punish banks without putting them out of business and damaging the economy, interviews with lawyers and records reviewed by The New York Times show.
Right, the old "we can't put them in jail, it might damage the economy" myopia again. Kind of like, "how can we prosecute the crack dealer without damaging the inner city economy?" argument you hear all the time.

You can read the article in its entirety, but the rub is buried in a paragraph near the end.
Still, to be meaningful, a guilty plea would require some consequences. Mr. Lawsky told prosecutors that he would consider temporarily suspending the bank’s ability to transfer money through New York branches on behalf of foreign clients, a move that could undercut the bank’s revenue.
Kind of like temporarily suspending the Meth or Heroin dealer's ability to transfer money through banks on behalf of their clients. That would certainly undercut their revenue and really teach them a lesson. Right?

LOL. Notice there is no discussion of top management going to prison, the big house, with razor wire and barking dogs and guard towers and a 300lb guy named "Tiny" waiting to make you his girlfriend when you get there. None.

I'll keep saying it till I'm in blue in the face: until the threat of REAL punishment (via incarceration and the threat of sexual assault, forced sodomy, shankings, stabbings, beatings and even being killed...like we apply to those "common" criminals) is applied to these sociopaths on Wall Street, nothing...absolutely nothing...is going to change.

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