Someday I Wanna Be Above The Law

Skeery, skeery banks:

“I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult to prosecute them,” Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “When we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps world economy, that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large. It has an inhibiting impact on our ability to bring resolutions that I think would be more appropriate. That is something that you all need to consider.”

Holder added that he felt the department had been “appropriately aggressive,” in pursuing and bringing cases where it could prove companies or individuals had broken the law. “These are not easy cases to make,” he said. “Things were done wrong, but the question is whether they’re illegal.”

As far as “not easy cases to make,” well, Holder, we don’t pay you the big bucks to nab people who shoplifted makeup on CCTV and then confessed to it the minute the clerk heard the alarm go off. Christ. It’s the same old nonsense, what if you go after them and lose? Well, what if you do? They’ll still be sons of bitches who are going to hell, and you’ll still be on the side of the angels. Assholes beat the rap every day, and yet we still make arrests. You fight the fights need fighting, and at least then you’ve fingerprinted the bastards so the next time they steal it’s quicker to book them.

And as for “even if we win, they’re too big, it’s too much, it’ll collapse everything,” THEY ALREADY DID THAT. There’s already a giant flaming hellmouth in the fucking earth.In case you hadn’t noticed. And if you throw the guys who fucked the economy up in jail, I have news for you: Someone else will take their jobs, even if those jobs will now have to be done within the bounds of the law. Someone else will want to be head of a giant squillion-dollar bank. It is not going to be a position that is vacant for very long. Someone else wants a swimming pool full of money to Scrooge McDuck around in. This is not hard sell in America.

The other thing that might happen is that people who look at the entire American economy as one giant “you just won a free timeshare” scam might start thinking about investing again. Spending again. Hiring people again. Feeling, again, like maybe they’re not gonna get screwed no matter what they do.

Imagine what that would look like.


9 thoughts on “Someday I Wanna Be Above The Law

  1. Yeah, those are some great tactics there, Mr. Top Law Enforcement Guy.
    You just told these crooks that they can get away with anything they want to try. I suggest we start nailing stuff down…it’s about to get REALLY interesting.

  2. I think you very much underestimate how much of a prosecutor’s time and budget would have to be devoted to prosecution of something as big as these banks for “crimes” as complicated as financial ones. I was once peripherally involved in watching an IPO and the paperwork involved, the speed of the transaction, the complexity (deliberate) and obfuscation of the legalese is mind boggling. Banks have millions of dollars and “of counsel” staff to block, litigate, and deny every form of request for information and to litigate and relitigate every kind of legal claim that might be brought. This is not just about a failure of will or imagination. It may be economically not feasible to bring these cases without drastically increasing the size of the very justice department, and breaking a budget set by congress to be too low to prosecute. This is true of the IRS where the IRS is totally out matched by the lawyers the wealthy can bring to bear on their cases.

  3. When Attorney General Holder says, “if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge it will have a negative impact on the national economy,” I have to say I’m sooo very glad that nobody was so churlish as to ask what sort of positive impact on the national economy the kleptocratic shenanigans of the Big Money Boyz.
    Isn’t that what Holder’s statement implies? Prosecution would have a negative impact, so what the banksters did (wrong, but not illegal) must have had a salutary effect on the national economy, right?

  4. aimai, and I would understand if he made that argument, and said look, we need X billion dollars, and unless the American people Kickstart this bitch, we’re going nowhere fast, so here’s our Paypal and let’s get busy with this. I would be all over his outrage on that score.
    But he’s not saying that. He’s questioning whether the national economy will suffer if the banks are prosecuted, and he’s talking about the difficulty of the case in terms of proving that laws were broken.
    Maybe he needs some better talking points, because I have no doubt that what you’re saying is part of the problem, but again, unless you put THAT in front of the American people, we’re left with this impression he just doesn’t want to work that hard.

  5. Its one quote out of a day or more of questioning. I am as disgusted as everyone else with it but I doubt very much if its the whole story.

  6. The economy suffers if you imprison a bricklayer who stole his aunt’s 1973 Dodge Dart. You incur the non-productive operating cost of imprisoning the SOB, you drive up the cost of construction through labor scarcity, which leads to inflation, it’s a disaster all around for the economy. Except STEALING IS FUCKING WRONG and that is why we put the bricklayer in jail, to punish STEALING and deter other people from thinking about taking a joyride in a Dart not their own. If you are a prosecutor and can’t bring yourself to say “Stealing is wrong” in your day job you should get a new job.

  7. Well how do you imprison a corporation such as ATT / Microsoft / Apple / whoever?
    Also, if an individual steals $ 100 k, there are sentencing guidelines which may include prison, fines, and restitution. If a corp steals $ 100k it is only a lapse of bookkeeping.
    If the biggest donors toward the election, on both sides of the aisle, are corporations and “small” businesses such as Koch et al, to prosecute them can have a big influence on raising cash for the next election. Even assuming that there are laws on the books to cover the crime.

  8. On a MUCH, MUCH, MUCH smaller scale, according to the laws of Missouri, sentencing of someone considers the impact on the community. Could be called make sure you own a business so you get a lighter sentence.
    I found out about it when a local guy who owned a business (an automated car wash where you drop in your quarters and spray the car with the wand). Fellow was also part of the planning for the county fair. At the fair he was caught pressing himself on an underage relative.
    He got a light sentence. News reported that considered in the sentence were th victim and family’s wishes. Plus, a prison sentence could put a couple of employees out of work.

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