The Attorney General’s Comments About Wall Street Prosecutions Ignore a Five-Year Record of Failure

Jan 24 2014 - 1:32pm
 
The Attorney General’s Comments About Wall Street Prosecutions
Ignore a Five-Year Record of Failure
 
“I hope that the Attorney General is finally serious about prosecuting Wall Street, but it’s hard not to be skeptical after five years of inexcusable failure to bring a single criminal action against the wealthy, powerful and politically well-connected too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks for conduct related to causing the worst financial crash since 1929, which caused the worst economy since the Great Depression,” said Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, Inc., an independent nonprofit organization that promotes the public interest in the financial markets.
 
“The Attorney General’s statement that no individual or firm is ‘too big to indict’ is contradicted by the Department of Justice’s recent failure to indict JP Morgan Chase or any of its subsidiaries, executives, officers or other staff for numerous illegal and criminal actions. His statement that ‘we have brought charges against thousands of people,’ is true, but misleading because those charges were mostly against small time individuals and firms, as 60 Minutes, Frontline and others have demonstrated. Sure, they should have been prosecuted, but that’s not prosecuting the too-big-to-fail banks on Wall Street and their executives,” said Mr. Kelleher.
 
“Those facts prove the double standard of justice that Attorney General Holder and the Department of Justice have created in the United States where the too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks use shareholders’ money to buy their way out of criminal prosecution, but they throw the book at everyone else. The American people see when government officials say one thing, but do another. They know that actions, not words, count.  The time for empty promises has passed. The Justice Department needs to focus on prosecutions, not public relations,” Mr. Kelleher concluded.
 
 
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Better Markets is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes the public interest in financial reform in the domestic and global capital and commodity markets. Better Markets advocates for transparency, oversight, and accountability with the goal of a stronger, safer financial system that is less prone to crisis and failure, thereby eliminating or minimizing the need for more taxpayer funded bailouts.