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.
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.