Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have long suspected that federal prosecutors didn’t pursue guilty pleas because they were afraid the consequences — a potential unraveling of a giant bank — would endanger the global economy. Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that was the case in March 2013, but quickly walked back his comments after a public outcry.
It wasn’t until May that years of persistent criticism eventually gave way to a guilty plea by Credit Suisse, the giant Swiss bank, to allegations it helped thousands of Americans hide their wealth to evade U.S. taxes.
But until Friday, no senior federal official had acknowledged this was explicit U.S. policy.
“We were not willing to find those firms guilty before, because we were worried that if we found them guilty, that could somehow potentially destabilize the financial system,” Dudley said. “We’ve gotten past that and I think it’s really important that we got past that.”
How do banks get to hire government officials? I guess that’s why we live in a corporatocracy. Not only do corporations get still out of jail but they can buy themselves the people who should be charge of watching them:
Bank of America has hired two U.S. government officials to join its financial crimes team, according to three people familiar with the matter, as banks are under increasing pressure to police their transactions for suspicious activity.
Bank of America has hired Jaikumar Ramaswamy, who heads the U.S. Justice Department’s asset forfeiture and money laundering section, and Frederick Reynolds, who is deputy director of the Treasury Department’s anti-money laundering unit, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
Elizabeth Warren was doing Tuesday what Elizabeth Warren usually does: sticking up for the little guy.
The populist Democratic senator from Massachusetts was in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, hosting an event to push Wal-Mart to raise wages and improve working conditions. “No one in this country should work full time and still live in poverty,” she said, wearing a green wristband to show solidarity with Wal-Mart workers. “Today a person can work full time, and a momma and a baby on a full-time minimum job cannot keep themselves out of poverty — and that’s wrong.”
A few hours earlier, Warren, joined by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, fired off letters to 16 financial institutions demanding more information about how they’re protecting consumers from fraud and identity theft. Later in the day, she cast her vote against the oil-and-gas interests backing the Keystone XL pipeline.
This would seem to be Warren’s moment. Exit polls in the midterm elections showed that 63 percent of voters thought the economy favors the wealthy, while only 32 percent said the economy is fair to most Americans. Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, has made a leadership position for Warren. Presidential rumors persist, though she shows no signs of running.
Warren’s populism is appealing — not fiery or vengeful but compassionate and grounded in fairness. She also has the virtue of being correct: People don’t feel improvement in the economy because the gains haven’t been shared evenly, income inequality has widened and wages haven’t increased along with stock prices and corporate profits.
Kmart, J.C. Penney, Toys R Us and Walmart are all opening their doors on Thanksgiving this year, but that doesn’t mean everyone is asking workers to report for Black Friday duty a day early.
At least 13 large retailers have decided to remain closed on Thanksgiving. In various statements, the companies have cited the questionable benefits of opening on Thursday and the importance of preserving the holiday for employees and customers alike.
As every day goes by, with more and more wrist slaps of crooked banking and crooked bankers, I am more and more convinced that two of our nation’s top attorneys, Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer, have it right: The Obama administration, and Eric Holder in particular, have decided to give get-out-of-jail-free cards to all criminal bankers.
Today’s wrist slap of UBS, JPMorgan, Citigroup, HSBC, and Royal Bank of Scotland for currency rigging is just the latest example that the U.S. Justice Department has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street.
And, of course, no one is going to jail for this:
British, American and Swiss regulators fined five of the world’s biggest banks a combined $3.3 billion on Wednesday for conspiring to manipulate the foreign currency markets, the latest setback for an industry facing increased scrutiny and mounting legal costs for its past sins.
A year ago this month the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the banking giant JPMorgan Chase would avoid criminal charges by agreeing to pay $13 billion to settle claims that it had routinely overstated the quality of mortgages it was selling to investors. But how did the bank avoid prosecution for committing fraud that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis? Today we speak to JPMorgan Chase whistleblower Alayne Fleischmann in her first televised interview discussing how she witnessed “massive criminal securities fraud” in the bank’s mortgage operations. She is profiled in Matt Taibbi’s new Rolling Stone investigation, “The $9 Billion Witness: Meet the woman JPMorgan Chase paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep from talking.”
Anadarko Petroleum Corp’s agreement to pay $5.15 billion to clean up nuclear fuel and other pollution received approval from a federal judge on Monday, the final hurdle for the settlement touted by the U.S. Department of Justice as the largest-ever environmental cleanup recovery.
Several House Democrats say they fear Wall Street is using confidentiality agreements to keep people from blowing the whistle on misconduct.
While the press frightens Americans about an non-existing epidemic the banks and big business rob us blind. What would expect from a corporate media that deals in sensationalism rather than informing the public:
In short, Martenson alleges that the Fed is engaged in “financial repression” against savers. The numbers support his allegation. Evidence suggests that Fed actions have transferred at least $750 billion in purchasing power from savers to other entities, such as Wall Street traders and barons. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Chris Martenson observes that the national wealth transfer shows up in record Wall Street banking bonuses, rising corporate profits, record stock buybacks, and rising wealth inequality. If so, being dependent upon the Fed for fairness is “like being trapped in a dysfunctional relationship with an abusive partner”–one of Martenson’s masterful metaphors. What we need, then, is either a divorce from the Federal Reserve (with clawback terms on assets), or consequential guidelines for the nation’s central bank that would level the playing field for middle class and working class Americans. Meanwhile, possibly moved by a growing resistance to pluto-democracy (plutocracy behind the veil of democracy), William C. Dudley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Federal Reserve, is engaged in damage control with Wall Street banks.