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Excerpt: "The US Justice Department is pursuing criminal investigations of financial institutions that could result in action in the coming weeks and months, US attorney general Eric Holder said in a video, adding that no company was 'too big to jail.'"

Attorney General Eric Holder. (photo: AP)
Attorney General Eric Holder. (photo: AP)


Holder Now Says: 'None Too Big to Jail'

By Reuters

05 May 14

 

Eric Holder announced in video address that Justice Department pursuing criminal investigations of financial institutions

he US Justice Department is pursuing criminal investigations of financial institutions that could result in action in the coming weeks and months, US attorney general Eric Holder said in a video, adding that no company was "too big to jail."

The comments, made in a video posted on the Justice Department's website on Monday, came as federal prosecutors push two banks, BNP Paribas SA and Credit Suisse AG , to plead guilty to criminal charges to resolve investigations into sanctions and tax violations, respectively, according to people familiar with the probes.

While Holder did not name any banks, he said he is personally monitoring the ongoing investigations into financial institutions and is "resolved to seeing them through."

"I intend to reaffirm the principle that no individual or entity that does harm to our economy is ever above the law," Holder said in the video. "There is no such thing as 'too big to jail.'"

French bank BNP Paribas warned last week it faces fines from US authorities in excess of $1.1bn over allegations that it violated US sanctions against Iran and other countries.

The Swiss finance minister met Holder on Friday to discuss a US probe into Swiss banks that allegedly helped Americans evade US taxes, which includes Credit Suisse.

While units of financial institutions have agreed to plead guilty to breaking US criminal laws, such agreements have usually involved foreign subsidiaries who have little contact with US regulators.

Japanese units of UBS AG and Royal Bank of Scotland plc, for example, pleaded guilty in the past two years to resolve criminal charges that their traders manipulated the Libor benchmark interest rate.

A criminal conviction of an entity regulated in the United States could lead authorities to potentially revoke a charter or undertake other punitive measures.

In his video, Holder said prosecutors are working closely with regulators to address the issues before taking action.

"Rather than wall off banks from prosecution, the potential for such severe consequences simply means that federal prosecutors conducting these investigations must go the extra mile to coordinate closely with the regulators that oversee these institutions' day-to-day operations," he said.

"This cooperation will prove key in the coming weeks and months as the Justice Department continues to pursue several important investigations," he said.

The Justice Department has come under fire for bringing few marquee cases against major financial institutions or their executives in the wake of the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

In March 2013, Holder told a US Senate committee that it can "become difficult" to prosecute major financial institutions that have been accused of wrongdoing because they are so large that a criminal charge could pose a threat to the economy. He quickly backtracked on those comments.

The Justice Department has pursued other criminal investigations of financial institutions in the past few years, but many have resulted in deferred or non-prosecution agreements, under which a bank is not actually indicted.


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+22 # nice2bgreat 2014-05-05 12:00
.
Evidently the sun is setting on Holder.

History has already been written by his own words and actions, yet he scrambles for a propagandistic theme to cover consequences from his bias, neglect, and incompetence, which will ripple long past his next high-paying gig. But why?

Why are appearances and legacy all of a sudden so important to him?

He has obviously been willing to tough out criticism of conflict and favoritism for all this time, seemingly without conscience. What balance is he trying to give the appearance of striking?

Is there a deeper mystery behind singling out particular institutions, which is in play here?

What is really going on?
.
 
 
+40 # Barbara K 2014-05-05 12:07
This is good news and I hope much success to the Attorney General. It is time that these big corps stop being coddled and pay up just as any citizen taxpayer would have to do. Collect what is owed by these tax evaders and it could erase the national debt, as well as rescue the economy and get this country back on its feet again. Remember us, the workers of this country? We are the ones who made it possible for these overpaid weasels to be wealthy in the first place. We built the infrastructure from the streets and bridges on up. We pay our taxes because we want our country to be great and to succeed. The wealthy tax dodgers don't.

..
 
 
+11 # MidwesTom 2014-05-05 12:55
"The wealthy tax dodgers don't." Are you referring to many of Obamas early appointees? As you may recall we witnessed a long string of top officials who had not either filed or paid their taxes. All had to quickly to take their new high paying positions.
 
 
0 # RobertMStahl 2014-05-09 15:45
Holder is to the Ukraine crisis what Greenwald is to Omidyar. Which is the dodger?
 
 
+15 # Sweet Pea 2014-05-05 13:14
[quote name="Barbara K"]This is good news and I hope much success to the Attorney General. It is time that these big corps stop being coddled and pay up just as any citizen taxpayer would have to do. Collect what is owed by these tax evaders and it could erase the national debt, as well as rescue the economy and get this country back on its feet again. Remember us, the workers of this country? We are the ones who made it possible for these overpaid weasels to be wealthy in the first place. We built the infrastructure from the streets and bridges on up. We pay our taxes because we want of our country to be great and to succeed. The wealthy tax dodgers don't.
I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for this to happen!
 
 
+8 # blizmo1 2014-05-06 03:53
Quoting Barbara K:
This is good news and I hope much success to the Attorney General. It is time that these big corps stop being coddled and pay up just as any citizen taxpayer would have to do. Collect what is owed by these tax evaders and it could erase the national debt, as well as rescue the economy and get this country back on its feet again. Remember us, the workers of this country? We are the ones who made it possible for these overpaid weasels to be wealthy in the first place. We built the infrastructure from the streets and bridges on up. We pay our taxes because we want our country to be great and to succeed. The wealthy tax dodgers don't.

..

:/ but nothing in this article indicates they'll be forcing tax payments on the corporations -- that's the IRS's bailiwick.

Most concerning to me is this mentions rather sideline issues and prosecutions -- what about Jamie Dimon still walking free and smug? What about the S&P & Moody's ratings manipulations? What about the computerized "instant trading" programs that game the stock markets? Or the fact that We the People are stuck with the price tag for commercial banks rambling on our backs, backed by "the full faith and credit of the US"?

THAT is what ate us, and should be prosecuted... Easy targets midterm elections. I'm just saying....
 
 
+11 # WestWinds 2014-05-05 16:06
Quoting nice2bgreat:
.
Evidently the sun is setting on Holder.

Why are appearances and legacy all of a sudden so important to him? What is really going on?



--- Could it be that Holder is just a puppet and he's only doing what he's been told to do?

Up until now this whole administration has kissed the... ring of the Right, but elections loom on the horizon, so now it's an all-hands-on-de ck rushing around to give the appearance of being REAL Democrats (when we all know these guys are really DINO's.) Thus, these Dems will have something to pass onto the next election cycle's Dems running for office?

Then we are supposed to buy their malarkey and vote all the (NeoCon) DINO incumbents back into office, so they can go straight back to genuflecting before the Gods of Industry, perpetuate the status quo of Trickle Down (nothing) leading to "Austerity" (aka intentional and planned poverty for the 98%) so the uber-rich overlords can rake in more Billions while the rest of us sink deeper and deeper into poverty.

It's a game plan and by now ALL of us need to be able to recognize it; it has become so predictable.
 
 
+13 # Barbara K 2014-05-05 12:01
This is good news and I hope much success to the Attorney General. It is time that these big corps stop being coddled and pay up just as any citizen taxpayer would have to do. Collect what is owed by these tax evaders and it could erase the national debt, as well as rescue the economy and get this country back on its feet again. Remember us, the workers of this country? We are the ones who made it possible for these overpaid weasels to be wealthy in the first place. We built the infrastructure from the streets and bridges on up. We pay our taxes because we want our country to be great and to succeed. The wealthy tax dodgers don't.

..
 
 
+17 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-05-05 12:07
This is not good news at all. There will be no change. It is all sweet talk propaganda. Wall St. runs this nation with a little help from their friends in israel.
 
 
+12 # WestWinds 2014-05-05 16:22
Quoting Barbara K:
This is good news and I hope much success to the Attorney General. It is time that these big corps stop being coddled and pay up just as any citizen taxpayer would have to do. Collect what is owed by these tax evaders and it could erase the national debt, as well as rescue the economy and get this country back on its feet again. Remember us, the workers of this country? We are the ones who made it possible for these overpaid weasels to be wealthy in the first place. We built the infrastructure from the streets and bridges on up. We pay our taxes because we want our country to be great and to succeed. The wealthy tax dodgers don't.

..


--- Yes, but it's not going to go down that way. We the People aren't going to get any justice, here.

What they are going to do is put on some **show trials** in which the defendants will either be acquitted, or given token fines, which will keep them from ever being prosecuted for their crimes in toto.

This is all a big act, and once again, We the People are falling for it. There is NO WAY these banksters are going to get their just desserts. For pity sake, half of Washington have children that are married into them. Even the Princess of Sweden who got married a year or so ago married a banker... this is called FASCISM; when politics and industry marry; figuratively and quite literally.
 
 
+42 # Robiodo 2014-05-05 12:27
The AG is still talking about companies, not about the people in that perpetrated the crimes. Decisions are made and actions are taken by human people (redundant, but not for SCOTUS), rather than document-based people. Someone once said I would believe all you say if I did not see what you do. In Mr. Holder's case, it is what he does not do, namely,: put felons who commit fraud in jail. Let's see what he actually does before leaving the Justice Dept. I'm not expecting much, if anything. This is 21st-century America, where the rich get sprung and the others get hung.
 
 
+27 # bmiluski 2014-05-05 12:27
"I intend to reaffirm the principle that no individual or entity that does harm to our economy is ever above the law," Holder said in the video. "There is no such thing as 'too big to jail.'"

If this is true then why are the Walton's not being prosecuted for what they did to our economy by forcing many US mfg. plants to close and move to China thus putting thousands and thousands of American workers out of work and into poverty?
 
 
+9 # WestWinds 2014-05-05 16:26
Because you have it right, Bmiluski, and Holder is reading from a White House teleprompter.
 
 
+2 # blizmo1 2014-05-06 03:56
Quoting bmiluski:
"I intend to reaffirm the principle that no individual or entity that does harm to our economy is ever above the law," Holder said in the video. "There is no such thing as 'too big to jail.'"

If this is true then why are the Walton's not being prosecuted for what they did to our economy by forcing many US mfg. plants to close and move to China thus putting thousands and thousands of American workers out of work and into poverty?

...and then rebrand themselves as "job creators" and get huge tax breaks?
 
 
+31 # brux 2014-05-05 12:35
Yeah, I hear they're investigating Martha Stewart again! ;-)

What a joke, this is not one or two people, this is a whole industry, along with other industries and an institutionaliz ed criminal society where working people are just enslaved dupes to be ripped off and treated like they are not citizens of America but just losers that are not rich.
 
 
+9 # WestWinds 2014-05-05 16:28
Yes, and Martha Stewart is not a bankster, either. This is more of the DC magic show; look over here while we rig things over there.
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2014-05-06 09:37
MARTHA STEWART.....WTF ??????
 
 
+1 # brux 2014-05-11 14:01
Goodness, I was being sarcastic, kidding ... Martha Stewart was a scapegoat for people who were doing really bad stuff ... the same thing they will do today.
 
 
+18 # jwb110 2014-05-05 12:48
How about the CEO and the CFO lose there citizenship for aiding and abetting the enemy. If the guys at the top don't have any skin in the game they will just keep behaving badly.
 
 
+23 # tswhiskers 2014-05-05 12:49
So, does this mean that the Justice Dept has grown a few big ones? Somehow I have a few doubts about that. Until dishonest traders are charged fines, in the multi-billions of dollars, and a lot of white collar sharks are jailed, I and most Americans will be hard pressed to believe Holder's statement. Robiodo has an excellent point; corporations are composed of people but corporations are not people. Unless the Justice Dept. acknowledges this fact, I doubt that much will be gained except that appearances will be satisfied for some. We the public have been treated like ignorant, self-satisfied peasants for long enough. We need to demand respect from our elected officials and refuse to settle for their contempt. This is our own fault as well as the politicians'. We can no longer show our own contempt for them by withholding our votes; this is exactly what they want and what has brought our country to the sad state of affairs, economically and politically, that we suffer now. PLEASE, EVERYONE VOTE IN YOUR STATE PRIMARIES. It is so important, but unless we show some interest in govt. we will get only what we deserve.
 
 
+30 # EternalTruth 2014-05-05 13:11
So... He's going to fine a couple of foreign banks, and he thinks that will change anything? I'll believe the rhetoric when the top executives from the biggest financial institutions in this country are behind bars for a long time. Until then...let's just say I ain't holdin' my breath.
 
 
+32 # teineitalia 2014-05-05 13:17
It's about damn time, Mr. Holder. It's about damn time. Although I can't help but notice you are going after a Swiss bank and a French bank. When are you going to prosecute the American banksters who nearly tanked the U.S.economy? I suggest you call Matt Taibbi. I have a feeling he could shed some light on the situation, including the criminally negligent role of the SEC.
 
 
+12 # liteguy 2014-05-05 13:25
I'll believe it when I see it...
hope to see some follow through..
 
 
+21 # seaspit 2014-05-05 13:49
Nationalize the industry, permanently. Separate commercial and investment banks. Prosecute and punish individuals who initiated all fraud.
All right!
 
 
+12 # fredboy 2014-05-05 13:50
Our attorney general is now trying to avoid being history's laughingstock. His reversal of his previous "Too big to prosecute" whine is pathetic.

The word now is if you want to steal big and avoid any and all prosecution, form a bank or go to work for a big one. If detected, the company is fined big time, but the individual culprits walk away free.

Time to consider a national name change to the United States of Corruption.
 
 
+7 # WestWinds 2014-05-05 16:42
Quoting fredboy:
Our attorney general is now trying to avoid being history's laughingstock. His reversal of his previous "Too big to prosecute" whine is pathetic.

The word now is if you want to steal big and avoid any and all prosecution, form a bank or go to work for a big one. If detected, the company is fined big time, but the individual culprits walk away free.

Time to consider a national name change to the United States of Corruption.


--- Yes, the CEO's and other of the top people will walk away with fortunes and leave the corporation to pay the damages.

Then the ones left running the banks will socialize the debt until it all comes right and then they will do it all over again to gain personal fortunes one more time.

This is just like our 750 Billion dollars Obama gave to the corporations to make loans to small businesses, but instead they gave themselves 20 million dollar "retention" bonuses, trips to the Fontainebleau in their new and individual Lear jets, manicures, caviar, massages, spas and call girls.

Let's face it, these guys have rigged the system totally in their favor. We pay the freight while they live the life of Riley. And they have the nerve to criticize people on social programs; what the heck to we call the social program these phat cats are living on?
 
 
+4 # Anonymot 2014-05-05 13:56
Nobody's too big to jail - except Holder and those who contribute heavily to his boss' campaign. So he's attacking a couple of foreign banks.

Only true dummies assume they are smarter than everyone else.
 
 
+10 # Pancho 2014-05-05 14:07
Holder was too busy to prosecute the banksters because he was chasing state licensed medical marijuana growers in California and Montana. He had to get his priorities in order, before going after the ones who stole billions.
 
 
+10 # angelfish 2014-05-05 14:25
WHAT has taken them so long? If the Banks and Big Businesses really ARE people, they would have been charged, tried and convicted YEARS ago! Dare I hope that Justice is raising it's sickly, anemic head?
 
 
+10 # WestWinds 2014-05-05 16:48
They have absolutely no intentions of prosecuting any of the banksters. If they were going to do it, they would have done it (years ago). They are just selling us another baloney-nonsens e story hoping we are still too stupid to notice.
 
 
+16 # JSRaleigh 2014-05-05 14:28
I call bullshit!

They'll "investigate" until hell freezes over or the statute of limitations runs out, whichever comes first.

But they won't actually prosecute the banksters.
 
 
+14 # E-Mon 2014-05-05 14:51
What a pitiful dog and pony show. Talk is cheap. When I first read the heading of this article I was filled with hope. Then I read a few paragraphs…. Enough to get the picture. Just a bunch of fluff. Business as usual. Maybe a few wrists will get slapped. zzzz, zzzzz,
 
 
+9 # Futilitarian 2014-05-05 15:37
But, I thought I also read elsewhere that he had no plans to actually prosecute any U.S. based banks as it would be detrimental to the U.S. economy. I suspect that non-prosecution is actually much more detrimental in the long run.
 
 
+5 # WestWinds 2014-05-05 16:49
They are trying to get away with as much as they can, and sadly, they are being very successful at it.
 
 
+1 # treadlightly 2014-05-06 12:09
Love the name. Made to order for this topic and the current reality we live in.
 
 
+5 # bingers 2014-05-05 16:23
Where was he before his old colleagues on Wall St had their statue of limitations run out?
 
 
+6 # chuckvw 2014-05-05 17:37
Guess the statute of limitation has run out...
 
 
+3 # sharsand 2014-05-05 18:43
Well, that's a no-brainer. When did he wake up and realize no one is too big to jail if they committed the alleged crime.
 
 
+7 # Gooshlem 2014-05-05 18:58
Looks as though he is mainly going after foreign banks who aren't on board with sanctions. Will he REALLY go after the ones who brought us down, or is this window-dressing ?
 
 
+4 # jcdav 2014-05-06 04:41
Please note the banks named are all foreign --no mention of the US banks that crashed our economy in '08...then referred to as "too big to fail"....what a dance! what a joke...on US..Look folks we gotta vote while we can to get a gvt answerable to the people or ride out slavery or revolt..your call.
 
 
+1 # Susan1989 2014-05-06 05:52
Nothing will change until the human brain evolves. People and the way they think and act are the cause misuse of power. When they gather together based upon their values, beliefs, and intentons...the y produce a collective energy field capable of doing good or being highly destructive and greedy. What we are pretty much seeing lately is the infectious nature of power and greedy. Unfortunately, religions have lost their power in terms of helping people to connect with their higher selves...their divinity....wit h most religions focusing on attempting to tell (control) the way people live through judgement and fear.
 
 
0 # moafu@yahoo.com 2014-05-06 06:56
A great military general and political leader wrote the following: "The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spake to me: One that ruleth over men righteously, must be just, ruling in the fear of God"

Selective prosecution, stonewalling of Congressional subpoenas, obfuscation of factual data in an unjust manner are NOT the right way to rule in government. This administration and justice department does what it wants (Chicago style). Their actions will come back to haunt them.

"There is a G-d in Heaven, and He watches and He rules in the affairs of men" Daniel 4

"Be certain that your unjust conduct will catch up to you" Numbers 32:23
 
 
+4 # treadlightly 2014-05-06 10:10
What a joke. How does Holder plan to fire his boss? Not Obama, his real boss, big money.
It's 2014 now. The shit hit the fan in 2008. Six years should be enough time to prosecute and convict the people responsible for destroying the economy and the public trust.
Impossible to do when the policy makers are working directly for the bankers. They are inseparable.
 
 
+2 # Gootarama 2014-05-06 20:25
That sure looks good in print, but the reality is that the day one of those Wall Street manipulators goes to jail is the day Bernie Madoff walks. In other words....ain't gonna happen!! They'll just keep paying the fines with petty cash from their deep pockets. You want to stop financial shenanigans? Put oneof those creeps into a real prison, not a low security "country club" with a putting green. How about some hard time for ANYBODY!! 839 fine folks were convicted in the 80's savings and loan scandal and yet only ONE Wall Street executive has been convicted over the recent crisis which almost sent us into another depression. Jamie Dimon and his ilk would look good in stripes.
 
 
+2 # JSRaleigh 2014-05-06 20:48
The banks "plead guilty", get a fine & a deferred prosecution agreement and promise not to do it again.

The bank executives who actually committed the crimes get a walk & get to keep their ill gotten gains.

Holder retires to some white shoe law firm after the 2016 election (if not sooner).

That whirring sound you hear isn't Thomas Jefferson spinning in his grave, it's the revolving door between Wall Street and the US Treasury, "Justice" Dept & SEC.
 
 
+2 # Third_stone 2014-05-07 16:55
To prosecute a corporation is impossible. There are men operating the corporations who make a decision to cheat. They alone committed crimes and deserve to be prosecuted. Prosecuting a corporation and extracting a fine is futile. There is no deterrent for future perps, since the real crooks walked free.
 
 
0 # nc91 2014-10-01 11:52
hopefullt the tapes supplied by Carmen Segarra will be an impetus to honesty
 

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