• Steve H. Hanke
    05/04/2016 - 08:00
    Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. A few weeks ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprang a surprise. It announced that a...

Assistant Attorney General Admits On TV That In The US Justice Does Not Apply To The Banks

Tyler Durden's picture


Those who watched Frontline's special on why nobody has been prosecuted on Wall Street titled appropriately "The Untouchables" didn't learn much new. The rehash of ideas presented is what has been well known for years - namely that when it comes to prosecuting Wall Street criminals nothing will ever happen, because as Bill Gross tweeted " Its not Republican in politics. Its not Dem in politics. Its money in politics" and all the money in politics comes from Wall Street, which happens to be the ultimate ruler of the United States of America, pushing levers here and pulling stringer there to give the impression the constitutional republic is still alive. It isn't - this country has become an unchecked despotism of those in charge of money creation and who control capital - just the thing Andrew Jackson warned against. One thing we did learn, was courtesy of Assistant Attorney General Lenny Breuer who made it very clear that when it comes to the concept of justice the banks are and always have been "more equal" than others. He does so in such shocking clarity and enthusiasm that it is a miracle that this person is still employed by the US Department of Justice.

To wit from the transcript:

MARTIN SMITH: You gave a speech before the New York Bar Association. And in that speech, you made a reference to losing sleep at night, worrying about what a lawsuit might result in at a large financial institution.




MARTIN SMITH: Is that really the job of a prosecutor, to worry about anything other than simply pursuing justice?


LANNY BREUER: Well, I think I am pursuing justice. And I think the entire responsibility of the department is to pursue justice. But in any given case, I think I and prosecutors around the country, being responsible, should speak to regulators, should speak to experts, because if I bring a case against institution A, and as a result of bringing that case, there’s some huge economic effect — if it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly, counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly — it’s a factor we need to know and understand.

In other words, no criminal charges can be levied against anyone who engaged in the crimes leading to the great financial crisis of 2008 because, get this, the implications of pursuing justice may have destabilizing implications!

In other words, the banker threat of Mutual Assured Destruction has metastasized from the legislative, where in 2008 Hank Paulson demanded a blank check from Congress to spend it on whatever he wishes, "or else...", and has fully taken over the Judicial, where there is Justice for all... and no "Justice" for those who are systemically important.

Ted Kaufman summarizes:

TED KAUFMAN: That was very disturbing to me, very disturbing. That was never raised at any time during any of our discussions. That is not the job of a prosecutor, to worry about the health of the banks, in my opinion. Job of the prosecutors is to prosecute criminal behavior. It’s not to lie awake at night and kind of decide the future of the banks.

Alas Ted, it appears it is.

Frontline's conclusion was perfectly expected: "to date, not one senior Wall Street executive has been held
criminally liable by the Department of Justice for activities related to
the financial crisis

We now know why: it is because of people like this:

Lanny A. Breuer was unanimously confirmed as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division on April 20, 2009.
As head of the Criminal Division, Mr. Breuer oversees nearly 600 attorneys who prosecute federal criminal cases across the country and help develop the criminal law. He also works closely with the nation’s 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in connection with the investigation and prosecution of criminal matters in their districts. Mr. Breuer is a national leader on a range of federal law enforcement priorities, including financial fraud, health care fraud, public corruption, and violence along the Southwest Border. He has also been a leading voice on policy issues related to criminal law enforcement, including the scope of prosecutors’ discovery obligations in federal criminal cases and sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine offenses. Mr. Breuer regularly testifies before Congress on the Administration’s policy initiatives and advises the Attorney General and the White House on matters of criminal law.  Mr. Breuer also serves as the Department's representative on the Atrocities Prevention Board, which President Obama announced in April 2012.  For his work as Assistant Attorney General, the National Law Journal named Mr. Breuer a "Visionary" in the Washington, D.C. legal community, and he was recently ranked sixth on Ethisphere’s list of The 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics.


Mr. Breuer began his legal career in 1985 as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, where he prosecuted violent crime, such as armed robbery and gang violence, white collar crime, and other offenses. In 1989, he joined the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP, where he worked until 1997, when he joined the White House Counsel’s Office as Special Counsel to President William Jefferson Clinton. As Special Counsel, Mr. Breuer assisted in defending President Clinton in the Senate impeachment trial.


Mr. Breuer returned to Covington in 1999 as co-chair of the White Collar Defense and Investigations practice group, where he specialized in white collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation and represented individuals and corporations in matters involving high-stakes legal risks. He also vice-chaired the firm’s Public Service Committee. At Covington, Mr. Breuer developed a reputation as one of the top defense lawyers in the country.

Full Frontline episode for those who missed it:

Watch The Untouchables on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Your rating: None

- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:21 | 3179201 tuttisaluti
tuttisaluti's picture

And they want to teach other countrys democracy.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:21 | 3179202 Mad Mohel
Mad Mohel's picture

Lanny Breuer, hmmmm wonder what temple this motherfucker goes to? Oh yeah the temple of scum and villainy.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:21 | 3179207 youngman
youngman's picture

 "if it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly, counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly — it’s a factor we need to know and understand."

What this means is that poltical contributions will go down if he enforces the law.....can´t have that

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 13:17 | 3179476 epwpixieq-1
epwpixieq-1's picture

In my humble opinion when he means is that he is playing GOD.

""if it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly, counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly"

So, this is what happens when you have a person who does not understand system dynamics to TRY TO MANAGE a dynamical system. This MANAGEMENT end up breaking the entire system at some point. For NO ONE, even GOD, can mange everything on MICRO LEVEL. Just have simple rules, and have laws ( and enforcement ) that protects these rules, and leave the systems to rebalance itself when needed. This is how is in Nature. No one breaks the natural laws ( if we know what they are ). If for some reason it happens that our VIEWS of natural laws nature are broken, it is for the simple fact that our VIEWS do not represent the TRUE Natural laws, but our own interpretation for them. Sorry, to the no-scientist, for the divergence here, could not resist it.

What this entails for this guy is: just do your f*****g job, you are paid for, and leave someone/something else to "think" about the well being of the entire system.

Is it so hard?

It may well be, if he is bounded by some other means and principles but the one he is SUPPOSED to follow.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 13:19 | 3179510 Seer
Seer's picture

Got a problem with "free speech?" </sarc> (amazing how people fall for all this shit)

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:21 | 3179208 waterhorse
waterhorse's picture

ANOTHER Covington & Burling alumni.  That's the problem RIGHT there.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:21 | 3179209 world_debt_slave
world_debt_slave's picture

I watched the PBS vid, in my research, "beyond reasonable doubt" legally never met beyond "any" doubt. But that is the way it is used in criminal courts today.

All through history, and American history, countless citizens have been destroyed for the greater good of that nation. That is the way the pols see it, the little people can be trampled down for the greater good of the country.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 17:32 | 3180626 Bandit und Buster
Bandit und Buster's picture

World debt slave.

This only holds true IF you're a 'Club' member!!

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:23 | 3179217 Mr. Hudson
Mr. Hudson's picture

In all fairness, Mr. Breuer is Jewish, and the Talmud strictly forbids a Jew from punishing a fellow Jew for stealing from the goyim. He is only following his strict religious upbringing, and he is protected by the Constitution to worship however he chooses.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 17:36 | 3180645 Bandit und Buster
Bandit und Buster's picture

"I hardley exaggerate, Jewish life consits of two elements: Extracting money and protesting." - Nahum Goldmann, Ex-presidnet of the World Jewish Congress

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 17:36 | 3180646 Bandit und Buster
Bandit und Buster's picture

"I hardley exaggerate, Jewish life consits of two elements: Extracting money and protesting." - Nahum Goldmann, Ex-presidnet of the World Jewish Congress

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:23 | 3179220 lincolnsteffens
lincolnsteffens's picture

I'm changing my name changing my name to John Pusshead Morgan, JP Morgan for short and starting my own criminal banking empire. If any of you ZHers want to become executives sign up now. Let's borrow digits from other criminal banks and leverage up.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:30 | 3179280 a growing concern
a growing concern's picture

We could use our free electronic 1s and 0s to corner the silver market and crash this bitch to the ground. Then when we don't repay what we owe, we'll just say we're "too big to fail" and make Uncle Sam eat the loss.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:23 | 3179227 astoriajoe
astoriajoe's picture

Last one out of the pool is...well.. f*cked.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:24 | 3179230 Will To Live
Will To Live's picture

I saw the report on TV. During the viewing, I vomited a little in the back of my throat.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:27 | 3179241 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

And BTW, which law firm issued the famous MERS legal opinion?

It is painfully obvious what is going on here, let's go after Aaron Swartz instead.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:30 | 3179270 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Exactly.Shame we don't know which partner authored that.

Odds are it was Breuer or bagHolder themselves.

Set a thief to conspire with a thief.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:35 | 3179303 waterhorse
waterhorse's picture

lol on the "bagholder" - I usually call it Place Holder.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:27 | 3179249 Sparkey
Sparkey's picture

Of course he is the symptom, if he didn't have these attitudes he wouldn't have the job.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:28 | 3179257 Miramanee
Miramanee's picture


Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:29 | 3179264 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

By the bankers, for the bankers.  With liberty and justice for all, as determined by the interests of the bankers.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:30 | 3179274 Unstable Condition
Unstable Condition's picture
Fund Manager Kyle Bass Says “Senior Member” of the Obama Admin said, “We are going to kill the dollar.”




Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:31 | 3179282 Brahms Third Racket
Brahms Third Racket's picture

Frankly, I was a little surprised this show was even allowed to air on a mainstream (sort of) media outlet.  True, nothing new to us locals, but it was presented very well.  In other words, Average Joe/Jane could follow along, comprehend and maybe even get a little pissed (assuming they were even watching).

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:31 | 3179283 tnquake
tnquake's picture

"as a result of bringing that case, there’s some huge economic effect — if it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly, counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly — it’s a factor we need to know and understand."

Using his logic, if I don't pay my taxes or "increase goverment revenues" this year, can I argue the above to the IRS? It will have a "huge economic effect" to me!!

Or will I be joining Wesley Snipes @ Club Fed?

D@mn AMT... waiting for Tax Freedom Day, April 17th!


Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:32 | 3179285 Bogdog
Bogdog's picture

Color me unsuprised.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:43 | 3179348 HeatMiser
HeatMiser's picture

J's watching j's backs. Now you know how the Germans felt. You can't prosecute them. You can't trust them in business. They are stealing everything not tied down including your liberty and freedoms. And apparently you can't trust them in sports according to Tim Brown of the Raiders.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 16:56 | 3180479 ClumsyBoatman
ClumsyBoatman's picture

Nailing a Juden is like trying to nail jelly to a wall

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 18:05 | 3180755 Bandit und Buster
Bandit und Buster's picture

BUT..but..but..."our race is the master race. We are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, compared to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Other races are considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races....The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves."  Israeli Prime Minister Menechem Begin

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:37 | 3179314 azengrcat
azengrcat's picture

The Just_Us Department is performing admirably.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 16:13 | 3180292 alfred b.
alfred b.'s picture


     Good stuff azengrcat, well said:  congrats!


Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:37 | 3179317 joego1
joego1's picture

If the establishment refuses to prosecute them maybe the militia needs to  do it.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:39 | 3179323 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

Let me get this around my head.  This by chance means that if you are too big to governed by the law, you are beyond the law?

So in essence, when only the lawless are above the law, the outlaws are above the law?

Right, fair play.  This in all aspects of reality should mean that since we are now in the realms of lawlesness, it applies to no-one.  Open season on banksters and politicians in my eyes then.  If they can get away with whatever the cunts want, so can we.

And you're protected by the right honourable stupid looking fucker in the picture above.  Lets start with him folks.

Lets give these fuckers war.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:39 | 3179328 alfred b.
alfred b.'s picture


    Bankster thugs run the show while Washington apologists and elites got their backs!



Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:40 | 3179333 Hondo
Hondo's picture

If in fact what Lanny said is true then it is almost a 100% certainty that the whole damn financial system needs to be unwound.  To say we can only have selective justice or no justice because the system is too complex is the definition of insanity.  There is no purpose, there is no rule of law...it become everyone for themselves which brings out the most evil in a human....and causes the philosophy of "those with the biggest gun win".....so I won't be turning mine in..

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:40 | 3179337 ShankyS
ShankyS's picture

Banksters have taken the "God complex" to a whole new level and definition. 

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:42 | 3179339 flacorps
flacorps's picture

Too many Brooks Brothers suits, not enough Guy Fawkes masks.

I'll keep defending foreclosure cases with every trick I can find in the book.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:45 | 3179346 q99x2
q99x2's picture

I think you need to know and understand this: by not prosecuting banking fraud you are aiding and abetting in the destruction of the world and you will be hunted down and brought to trial as an accomplice after the SHTF Chicken Shit Half Assed Lawyer M'Fer.

Although it is hard to know the future and maybe the sequence of events that result from him will be such that it results in a better situation faster than would otherwise arise.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:44 | 3179352 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

The U.S. Government has ZERO full faith and credit with me.


The United States is morally bankrupt.

They can talk about credit and debt and consequences all they want; a nation that is morally bankrupt is already doomed.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 13:00 | 3179427 VelvetHog
VelvetHog's picture

Morals can be ether here or there.  Who gets to decide what's "moral" and what's not? 

We are talking a black-letter law here.  The fleecing of the country continues aided by Washington and, that most heinous of all institutions ever invented, the Federal Reserve. 

Over the past 4-odd years we have learned that The War on Drugs, TSA, Homeland Security, The War on Tearr (G.W. pronunciation), The Federal Reserve, The Office of the Attorney General, The POTUS etc etc etc etc are all huge fucking jokes that We The People get to foot the bill for.   The Constitution has been turned to toilet paper.  Indeed the brainwashing that "...the constitution is living, breathing document that has become outdated..." is just ramping up.  After this lie is repeated enough times you will hear a significant portion of the population repeating (and believing) as much.  Human nature being what it is without the Constitution we have nothing.

Until there is 1,000,000 fed up citizens on the lawn of the White House, eyes stinging with pepper spray due to peaceably assembling, nothing is going to change.  Period.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:44 | 3179353 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

If the government will not prosecute criminal behavior by the banks, then perhaps it's up to the people to become judge, jury and executioner. Either that or just shut the fuck up and take it in the ass...forever.

The choice seems obvious.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 13:37 | 3179398 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Sad to say but that is the state of affairs when it comes to the rule of law. I speak from experience when I say federal and state DA's offices are the minor league affiliates of major league political offices... a training ground for big time liars and people who will do anything to get ahead. Not all prosecutors are bad, but the majority are opportunistic. slimeballs who practice lying to juries so they can graduate to lying to the public.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:44 | 3179362 justsayin2u
justsayin2u's picture

This is how bamy, holder and nappy stand up for the little guy - you know - us proles.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:44 | 3179365 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

WTF? Prosecutors regularly fool juries into convicting individuals (or force plea bargains) on iffy criminal charges and it ends up destroying their children, their families, and their businesses/employees. Every conviction or plea bargain has a ripple effect. Who gives a rats ass if the guilty party is a criminal bank or criminal corporation?

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 18:18 | 3180808 Bandit und Buster
Bandit und Buster's picture


I KNOW you right there! The sheeple don't have to commit a crime to go to the pen, if you aren't one of 'them' you don't have much chance, less maybe if you're a mason (or a jew) Of course it didn't help Aaron Swartz, RIP. Clearly his own people turned on him for  challenging TPTB. 

I've been told that it is black letter law that prosecutor & judge get up to $25K added to their pension fund for EVERY conviction!  


Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:45 | 3179367 Clesthenes
Clesthenes's picture

Here is a short account of how English rebels brought down judges and tax collectors, bishops and kings who thot they had a divine right to impose taxes or debt on other men without the latters’ consent; men, who 150 years later, would guide American rebels.

It is a short account, in other words, of how ordinary men exercised “the sovereign power”; otherwise known as the petitioning process; a power available to every man on the planet; but for their ignorance.

With this knowledge, men will know how to deal with consequences of justice; without it, nothing but futility.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 17:54 | 3180717 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Cool link. In England it was the barons that finally forced the king to give in. In the French Revolution it was the minor nobility that rose up and caused the change, the masses with torches & pitchforks came much later. I just don't think we're anywhere near any of that in the US, unfortunately. Not yet, that is.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 12:45 | 3179368 youngman
youngman's picture

Now you know why the big push to make guns illegal and to confiscate them.....

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 13:06 | 3179449 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

I don't think the Govt is worried about our guns.  Let's face it, if the people have not risen up by now.....they ain't never gonna.  Do you think Adams, Henry, Jefferson and the other FFs  would still holed up in their bunkers, counting ammo and gold after what has gone on the last 5 years?  They are probably looking down on us saying "What is wrong with these people? Don't they know why we gave them the 2nd amendment?


Wed, 01/23/2013 - 13:51 | 3179659 Seer
Seer's picture

"if the people have not risen up by now.....they ain't never gonna."

We ought to stop using this "argument."  It's highly flawed logic.  Because something has not happened that does not mean that it will not.  I'm sure that in times past there were plenty of similar beliefs right up until that which would "vever gonna" happen, happened.

Further, this "argument" tends to absolve one from doing what one feels is necessary: others aren't acting so why bother?

2nd Amendment won't solve what the problem is.  We have corrupt "leaders/officials" because the very system itself is corrupt; the system is predicated on the impossible: perpetual growth on a finite planet.  Clear the slate, take "back" the system and you STILL have THE SYSTEM and its flaws, flaws that will require the perpetuation of the BIG LIE.

Humans have yet to admit that ALL WARS are about resources.  One this is understood then we have nowhere to go but to admit that perpetual growth is not possible: and at this point it gets REALLY tough; I believe that we'd rather lie and kill one another than try to grapple with how to face this reality.  I don't see any fluffy outcome possible.

"More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly."

- Woody Allen


Wed, 01/23/2013 - 14:22 | 3179794 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Sorry to disagree.  But the problem today is that everyone is concerned only with themselves.  "They'll see if come to MY door, for MY guns."  The FF acted to improve the COLLECTIVE GOOD.  Most of them were way better positioned to deal with the crap the British were heaping on the Colonies.  Still, they risked it all to rise up.  Today we talk a good game....while everyday the elite (read: British) abuse our liberties.  And nothing is done.   

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!