party of FDR now protecting banks
DrMarty | August 27, 2012 at 02:20 amby
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The Times accuses Obama of "protecting the banks," calls for jail terms for top bank executives, and ends with a call to break up the banks. The editorial represents the charged and growing environment for reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act.
This Act was endorsed by name in NYT's famous July 26 editorial, "The Big Banker's Change of Heart"
The Times states:
"When the Justice Department recently closed its criminal investigation of Goldman Sachs, it became all but certain that no major American banks or their top executives would ever face criminal charges for their role in the financial crisis. Justice officials and even President Obama have defended the lack of prosecutions, saying that even though greed and other moral lapses were evident in the run-up to the crisis, the conduct was not necessarily illegal.
"But that characterization of the financial industry's actions has always defied common sense -- and all the more so now that a fuller picture is emerging of the range of banks' reckless and lawless activities, including interest-rate rigging, money laundering, securities fraud, and excessive speculation.
"Which is not to say that prosecuting wrongdoing in the financial crisis is easy. Proving federal fraud requires evidence of intent, no small lift. But proving intent does not require a smoking gun.... Is it plausible that none of [the banks] broke the law and that none of the people in positions of power and authority knew what was going on?
"It seems likelier that it's not intent that's missing, but creative thinking on the part of federal prosecutors about the web of federal statutes that could be brought to bear on potential cases." The Times avers that as far back as 2009, the Obama Justice Department under Eric Holder made a determination it would not proceed against big banks, allegedly because the cases were unwinnable. The Times adds, "That stance has dovetailed with the Obama administration's emphasis on protecting the banks."
"The result is a public perception that the big banks and their leaders will never have to answer fully for the crisis. The shameless pursuit of Wall Street campaign donations by both political parties strengthens this perception, and further undermines confidence in the rule of law. There may be more civil fraud suits related to the financial crisis... But to date, those cases have rarely named top executives and the banks have rarely admitted wrongdoing. And the fines, even those in the hundreds of millions of dollars, have been small compared with bank profits and banker bonuses.
"After all these years, what is still needed are cases with convictions and settlements severe enough to deter future bad behavior. If institutions operating at the heart of the economy really cannot be held to account, the solution should be to break them up, not give them and their leaders a pass."
Try parking one minute after your meter expires in NYC. You will pay more than any Wall Street bank will ever pay for royally f_cking the economy.