It’s just a small step, but it’s at least a step in the right direction. I’m heartened by a recent call to action by Rep. Maxine Waters, (D – CA), the ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee, in an article published in the American Bankers magazine.
This last February, federal prosecutors began a 90 day examination to determine if they were going to prosecute the bankers responsible for the 2008 financial debacle. No surprise, the D.O.J. failed to act, the deadline was missed and instead of holding any individuals accountable for criminal behavior, they allowed several of the Too-Big-To-Fail banks to plead guilty to felony fraud charges of rigging the foreign currency market. The banks were fined, slapped on the wrist and no prosecutions.
Considering the severity of the charges, the outcome is a travesty. I’ve raised Cain in several posts regarding this. And as mentioned before, when I was interviewed on Bloomberg, I asked for a Congressional investigation. I’ve campaigned the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees and, maybe, just maybe, I’ve made some headway.
As ranking member of the House committee Representative Waters received my letter detailing the congressional commission cover-up of my testimony, so although I have not always agreed with Rep. Waters’ positions on issues, the ABA article, published just this last week, has me hopeful. In the article, Waters calls the D.O.J. to task. She talked about the Department of Justice’ failures to punish the TBTF wrongdoing. Representative Waters accuses the D.O.J. of encouraging a two-tiered system of justice, which punishes the rank and file for lesser crimes and lets the mega rich, the huge multinationals and the TBTF get off with fines that are written off as the cost of doing business.
Representative Waters says, “This two-tiered system of justice isn’t merely a question of fairness. It also does nothing to deter bad actors on Wall Street. It tells the trader to take as many risks as he can because the worst that will happen is he’ll simply have to look for another job. He’ll keep his bonuses, his track record of profitability, and his freedom. It tells his supervisor that the worst that will happen is that he’ll have to waste a few hours meeting with lawyers. He’ll still get that promotion, keep that bonus, enroll his kids in private school, and take the annual ski vacation. And it tells bank CEOs that all they’ll have to endure is a few days of bad headlines, but profits will stay up, shareholders will get their dividends, and any fines that need to be paid can simply be deducted from the firm’s tax bill.”
“The vast majority of Americans agree that this behavior must stop. But the only way it will stop is when that trader sees his colleague being led out of the office in handcuffs; when his supervisor loses his job, license, and lifestyle; and when that CEO has to stand in a courtroom and hear a verdict of “guilty.””
She makes the case that not punishing the wrong doing on the part of a certain group sends a strong message, not the least of which is that it “simply is not fair… Equal justice under the law means just that”. She asks our new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, to reconsider the message allowing bankers who perpetuate trillion dollar frauds go without any punishment.
I applaud Representative Waters. A step in the right direction yes, BUT will anyone really listen and act?
I continue to hope.
[tweetthis url=”http://buff.ly/1LG2TfB”]“Americans agree that this behavior must stop.” ~ Rep Waters via @RichardMBowen #tbtf #wallstreet[/tweetthis]