Since 2008, the U.S. authorities have meted out $87.53 billion in fines to global banks. That number comes from data complied by the Financial Times. Some people believe that bankers are finally getting their due, being hit with billion-dollar penalties for their recklessness.

I don’t see it that way; rather, it looks like little more than a belated attempt to walk back the too-big-to jail trial balloon floated by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

To me, this represents a colossal failure on the part of our political leaders, regulators, law-enforcement officials and bankers. I don’t buy the concept that a lack of prosecution or conviction means no crimes were committed any more than I buy that O.J. Simpson’s acquittal means he didn’t murder his estranged wife. Rather, what this lack of criminal prosecution reflects is timidity by prosecutors who seem to have forgotten how to do their jobs.

Continues here

Category: Bailouts, Legal, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

6 Responses to “Bank Fines + Prosecutions = Enforcement”

  1. rd says:

    Mary Barra just canned 15 executives for screwing up an ignition switch recall. That is probably more than were fired by all the financial companies for breaking laws during the financial crisis.

    The financial firms seem to fire people who don’t make adequate profits, but not for making profits illegally. If the enforcement won’t come from within, then it has to come from without. If individuals won’t be prosecuted, then the fines need to be so big enough that the bottom line impact is big enough to force wholesale changes in the boards of directors and the executive suite. To date, the fines seem to be of a “normal business risk” magnitude.

  2. Frilton Miedman says:

    The recent DOJ proposed fine of $12 billion to BofA, sounds great, until you factor that real value of losses resulting from their fraud.

    Then, to learn that only $5 billion of the fine will be used as reparation to affected homeowners.

    These actions are nothing but a tax on criminal profits, paid for by shareholders instead of those who benefited, the executives, senior management and traders that got wealthy off the fraud are home free.

    In any other reality within the U.S., a thief gives back what he stole, then he faces criminal charges.

  3. ch says:

    What I find hilarious is how some people (including on this blog) will ridicule “conspiracy theories” including “banks rule the world.”

    But then they note that “nobody went to jail in the face of the most obvious frauds…why?”

    Because the bankers control the government. Who is funding the Federal government right now? How many Treasury bonds can the US gov’t issue without the TBTF banks?

    Follow the money. This isn’t a rant or a conspiracy theory. It’s an objective observation of how the world factually works.

  4. Expat says:

    It’s very simple. In America as in Russia if you have money you can do whatever you want.

    Imagine a poor black man who sneaks into a bank at night, steals ten million dollars. He would be accused of robbing widows and orphans of their savings. He would be arrested, beaten, interrogated, subjected to DNA sampling. His family would be harrassed, his house raided, his friends questioned. He would be tried, convicted and sent away for a long, long time, locked in some Federal Max hellhole where violence and sexual assault are the norms. Thirty years later he exits prison a broken man good only for a life of crime.

    Meanwhile rich white bankers snort coke, screw hookers, steal trillions. Everyone knows it. But never is there an admission of guilt, just an acknowledgement that “mistakes were made” or “errors committed”. No one is fired. No one goes to jail. The bank pays a fine which is a drop in the bucket. Worse, it is deducted from earnings!

    Welcome to America.

  5. Seaton says:

    All the above are spot-on, as are you BR.
    Cui Bono, still applies, thousands of years later… Adding a zero before the decimal point might have been more appropriate, but then us little people ain’t got million$ to spend on lobbyists, CongressCritters, etc.

  6. James Shannon says:

    You, Bill Black, Chris Hedges and Eves Smith, all saints as far as I’m concerned, have all been singing the same tune since ALL the Major Banks caused their own insolvency because of their own corruption! What I refer to as “Observed Reality”.
    Clearly, the CentaMillinaire$ and Billionaire$ are in control of government and We The People are too grounded by “Observed Reality” to even begin to believe there is anything we can do to stop the corruption of and by government!
    I truly admire the people attempting to bring the facts to the attention of the public, but when a government gets corrupted by money, history has repeatedly shown the people TRULY are powerless to do anything about it!