“There is no such thing as ‘too big to jail,’” Holder said in the message, posted on the Justice Department website. “Some have used that phrase to describe the theory that financial institutions – even if they engage in criminal misconduct – should be considered immune from prosecution due to their sheer size and their influence on the economy. That view is mistaken, and it is a view that has been rejected by the Department of Justice.”
Holder says the government is going to take big banks to task -- but many MPA readers were dubious.
"Yawn and roll eyes. What about the actions of the mega bail out banks and Wall Street firms that brought us to the brink of financial ruin?" wrote MPA reader Mendota. "Where are all of the charges? These companies were literally driven into the ground and made insolvent. They would have closed down. The govt steps in and hands them billions of dollars. The companies, who were insolvent the day before, then immediately take hundreds of millions and pay themselves bonuses with it. They claim these were contractually obligated bonuses and were agreed to years before. That makes no sense. Without the bailout money, no bonuses could have been paid as the companies were RUINED by these same individuals. This was theft. Where are the charges?"
"Holder seems to have forgotten that it was just months ago that the AG said that they were afraid to bring criminal charges because it might take down the financial system," wrote reader Wm Matz. "Now it's suddenly OK. What changed? May this is a new version of "Wag the Dog" to divert attention from other failures. Regardless, there are plenty of crimes to prosecute, beginning with the millions of felonies from the robosigning scandal and Wells Fargo's manual for attorneys to fabricate loan documents for foreclosure."
Reader Gordon Schlicke said that any forcoming prosecutions would warrant close scrutiny.
"Two things need watching: (1) Did they prove the intent to defraud? - were 'market forces' ignored; and (2) if convictions occur were sentencing guidelines followed?" he wrote.
What do you think? Will criminal prosecutions actually be forthcoming, or is this just big talk from the AG? And are prosecutions warranted? Let us know in the comments below.
The Justice Department may be pursuing criminal charges against various big banks in the coming weeks, Attorney General Eric Holder said this week in a video message.