They still write fluff pieces in the WSJ trying to convince you that an admission of criminal conduct isn’t actually an admission and thus couldn’t be prosecuted….
A former top U.S. official in charge of investigating the financial crisis said the government has concluded that many inquiries of wrongdoing by financial executives can’t succeed as criminal prosecutions.
“There’s been a realization and a more deliberate targeting by the Department of Justice before we launch criminally on some of these cases” said David Cardona, who was a deputy assistant director at the Federal Bureau of Investigation until he left last month for a job at the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Justice Department has decided it is “better left to regulators” to take civil-enforcement action on those cases, he said.
Uh huh. Let’s remember that Citi’s former chief risk officer testified under oath before the FCIC, presenting written documentation, that the firm — all the way into the executive suite — was fully aware that 80% of the loans it was writing and selling on in 2007 did not meet quality standards.
Yet they sold them anyway without disclosing this fact to the buyers.
Were this a food quality case where 80% of the meat sold by a slaughterhouse was known to contain contaminants and led to the death and/or sickness of thousands of people, or a steel quality case where 80% of the steel was known to contain imperfections that led to the collapse of a building and the death of thousands, the executives in question would be sitting in the graybar motel and the firm involved would be out of business.
This is not a singular example. Wachovia, for example, entered a deferred prosecution agreement — a guilty plea, in effect — for money laundering to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars of funds laundered for Mexican Drug gangs. Then there’s the Jefferson County Alabama case in which municipal officials and related parties were actually convicted and went to prison and yet nobody from any of the financial firms involved was criminally prosecuted, nor were the firms themselves.
The latter is especially galling since in order to receive a bribe (the base allegation of corruption that was proved to a criminal standard and led to imprisonment) someone else must offer said bribe and the victims of this scheme were the entirety of the citizens of the county who are stilling paying for the corrupt practices involved and have received no restitution nor do they have any hope of it in the future.
While the apologists say that these cases are “hard to prove” this assertion does not pass the smell test — in many of these cases that I have bird-dogged for years now we have sworn testimony as evidence, in others (e.g. the cases outlined in the 60 Minutes piece that I covered the other day) there are actual whistleblowers who have and will testify and in still others there are actual prosecutions of people on the “other side” of the transactions in question that have led to convictions — that is, cases where the required standard of proof has been met!
You are free to come to whatever conclusion you’d like as to the reason for the lack of prosecution of financial firms and the executives running them, but the “mainstream media” apologist game does not stand up to even the most-cursory level of inquiry.