Obama administration’s phony crackdown on the banks [World Socialist Website]

By Gabriel Black
9 May 2014

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) posted a video Monday in which Attorney General Eric Holder sought to dismiss the widely held, and completely justified, belief that the Obama administration treats the major American banks and financial institutions as being above the law. Various newspapers report that the video will be followed by a decision by the DOJ to criminally prosecute two foreign banks for crimes unrelated to the financial crisis.

The video and the likely prosecutions are disingenuous PR moves designed to give the public the impression that the Obama administration is tough on the banks. However, this transparent attempt at cover-up and deception is undermined by the reported decision to target only foreign, not US-based, banks.

In fact, by going after Credit Suisse Group AG and BNP Paribas SA, the Obama administration is compounding its refusal to prosecute American Wall Street bankers for their criminality and fraud by attacking their overseas rivals.

Holder begins his video by declaring: “There is no such thing as too big to jail.” He goes on to state that “some have used that phrase to describe the theory that certain financial institutions, even if they engage in criminal misconduct, should be considered immune to prosecution, due to their sheer size and influence in the economy.”

It is unclear, when Holder refers to “some,” if he is referring to himself. In March of 2013, Holder, responding to questioning from Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, who noted that there had been no criminal prosecutions of financial institutions or executives by the Obama administration, said: “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them, when we are hit with indications that if we do prosecute — if we do bring a criminal charge — it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy…”

Holder’s testimony before Congress amounted to an admission that the US government does, indeed, consider big US banks and their top executives to be “above the law,” and deliberately avoids prosecuting them for illegal activities…

Excerpted; full article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/05/09/hold-m09.html


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