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The Farce Must Go On: Senate Suddenly Furious With Eric Holder For Allowing Banks To Become "Too Big To Jail"

Tyler Durden's picture


Or what happens when Wall Street Muppet A is vewy, vewy angwy with Wall Street Muppet B and desperately needs a ratings boost.

* * *

Straight from the best Senate Wall Street taxpayer bailout money and Fed excess reserves (by way of deficit monetization) can buy:

Sens. Brown, Grassley Press Justice Department On "Too Big To Jail"

Senators Question Whether “Too Big to Fail” Status of Some Wall Street Megabanks Undermines Government’s Ability to Prosecute Large Financial Institutions, Impose Appropriate Penalties

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter today to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder questioning whether the “too big to fail” status of certain Wall Street megabanks undermines the ability of the federal government to prosecute wrongdoing and impose appropriate penalties.  They also requested that the Justice Department disclose the identities of parties with whom prosecutors consult about the appropriate level of penalties for financial institutions.

“Wall Street megabanks aren’t just too big to fail, they’re increasingly too big to jail,” Brown said. “Already, the nation’s six largest megabanks enjoy what amounts to taxpayer-funded guarantee by virtue of their size, making it harder for regional and community banks to compete. Now, these megabanks may also enjoy some impunity when they violate the law by laundering money or illegally foreclosing on homeowners.  Wall Street should pay the full price of its wrongdoing, not pass the costs along to taxpayers.”

“The best deterrent to crime is to put people in prison,” Grassley said.  “That includes those at powerful banks and corporations.  Unfortunately, we’ve seen little willingness to charge these individuals criminally.  The public deserves an explanation of how the Justice Department arrives at these decisions.”

Brown, who chairs the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, is the author the Safe, Accountable, Fair & Efficient (SAFE) Banking Act, legislation that would prevent any one financial institution from becoming so large and overleveraged that its collapse could put our economy on the brink of collapse or trigger the need for a federal bailout. He also passed legislation with Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) to requiring the Government Accountability Office to study how banks with assets of $500 billion or more benefit from the belief that the government would not let them fail in a crisis.

As Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, Grassley has been critical of the Justice Department’s decisions against holding people criminally accountable in financial cases.  He called the Justice Department’s decision to forego any criminal prosecution of HSBC officials involved in that money laundering scandal inexcusable.  And he has questioned the Justice Department about the number of mortgage fraud cases brought forward, revealing a failure to bring significant criminal cases against any of the major banks or financial institutions that have faced civil actions for various frauds. Grassley is the author of the Fraud Enforcement Recovery Act, signed into law in 2009, that was designed to ramp up the government’s response to the crisis and ensure that prosecutors and investigators had the tools needed to combat fraud.

The full text of the letter from Brown and Grassley to Holder can be found below.

January 29, 2013
The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.   
United States Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530


Dear Attorney General Holder:


The large number of private and government lawsuits since the global financial crisis continues to undermine public confidence in our financial markets.  This confidence can only be restored by demonstrating that there are consistent rules in place that provide accountability for wrongdoing and deter financial predators.


Unfortunately, many of the settlements between large financial institutions and the federal government involve penalties that are disproportionately low, both in relation to the profits which resulted from those wrongful actions as well as in relation to the costs imposed upon consumers, investors, and the market.


The nature of these settlements has fostered concerns that “too big to fail” Wall Street banks enjoy a favored status, in statute and in enforcement policy.  This perception undermines the public’s confidence in our institutions and in the principal that the law is applied equally in all cases.


On settling with Swiss Bank UBS for Libor manipulation, for example, you said, “[t]he impact on the stability of the financial markets around the world is something we take into consideration.  We reach out to experts outside of the Justice Department to talk about what are the consequences of actions that we might take, what would be the impact of those actions if we want to make particular prosecutive decisions or determinations with regard to a particular institution.”


In an interview with Frontline, outgoing Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer defended the Department of Justice’s inability to prosecute large financial institutions by saying, “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, 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.”


These statements raise important questions about the Justice Department’s prosecutorial philosophy.  In order to explore the Justice Department’s treatment of potential criminal activity by large financial institutions, please answer the following questions and provide the following information:


1. Has the Justice Department designated certain institutions whose failure could jeopardize the stability of the financial markets and are thus, “too big to jail”?  If so, please name them.


2. Has the Justice Department ever failed to bring a prosecution against an institution due to concern that their failure could jeopardize financial markets?


3. Are there any entities the Justice Department has entered into settlements with, in which the amount of the settlement reflected a concern that markets could be impacted by such a settlement?  If so, for which entities?


4. Please provide the names of all outside experts consulted by the Justice Department in making prosecutorial decisions regarding financial institutions with over $1 billion in assets.


5. Please provide any compensation contracts for these individuals.


6. How did DOJ ensure that these experts provided unconflicted and unbiased advice to DOJ?


Our markets will only function efficiently if participants believe that all laws will be enforced consistently, and that violators will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  There should not be one set of rules that apply to Wall Street and another set for the rest of us.


Thank you for your cooperation and attention in this matter.  We would appreciate a response by February 8, 2013.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Graham Steele for Senator Brown at (202) 224-2315 or Chris Lucas for Ranking Member Grassley at (202) 224-5225.



Sherrod Brown                                                  Charles E. Grassley

Chairman                                                        Ranking Member

Banking Committee,                                          Judiciary Committee

Subcommittee on Financial Institutions

and Consumer Protection


Don't make the muppets angry. You won't like them when they're angry.

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Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:12 | 3196942 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

That's the Hon. Jon corzine to you.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:19 | 3196969 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I so regret not living in New Jersey.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:35 | 3197035 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

The only thing worth anything coming out of Jersey is Springsteen 

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:51 | 3197078 davidsmith
davidsmith's picture

Especially watching him slide across the stage at 60+and then having to be helped up.  Hella cool.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 21:01 | 3197100 AssFire
AssFire's picture

Fuck Springsten- he supported that POS mulatto.

As for Holder:

That Cocksucker only sues states who make laws trying to overcome the failed federal immigration laws he is supposed to defend.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 21:11 | 3197171 donsluck
donsluck's picture

Jeez you swear a lot. Angry? It won't do you any good.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 21:31 | 3197244 perchprism
perchprism's picture


Commie fuckhead.  Blow me. 

Role of the DOJ under the Executive Branch:


Department of Justice

The mission of the Department of Justice (DOJ) is to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

The DOJ is comprised of 40 component organizations, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Attorney General is the head of the DOJ and chief law enforcement officer of the federal government. The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters, advises the President and the heads of the executive departments of the government, and occasionally appears in person before the Supreme Court.

With a budget of approximately $25 billion, the DOJ is the world's largest law office and the central agency for the enforcement of federal laws.


Now, we won't bother explaining the 4th branch, BANKING.  They are the pillar of Big Gummint, sans portfolio.




Wed, 01/30/2013 - 03:55 | 3198008 Rusty Shorts
Tue, 01/29/2013 - 22:19 | 3197409 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

Swearing does a whole fucking lot of good.  Shit or get off the fucking pot.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 00:16 | 3197741 bigkahuna
bigkahuna's picture

f that shit - cuz I aint the one - for a punk muthafuc#a with a badge and a gun - to be beatin' on - o' thrown in jail - we can go toe to toe in the middle of the cell!!!

they'd rather see me in the pen than me and Lorenzo rollin' in a BENZO!

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 22:32 | 3197452 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

Aaaahhh New Jersey.  While other kids were getting high sniffing airplane glue, smoking dope and shooting heroin, I simpy strolled thru the rolling hills of Seacaucus, NJ inhaling the natural wonders of what some people call, 'the Garden State."



Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:16 | 3196954 withnmeans
withnmeans's picture

Don't cha think ANON has something to do with this? It is a sudden shift.......

Power of persuasion.....

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:30 | 3197017 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

More like power of psyops. Surely you realize that any amorphous group is chock full o' spooks, regardless of how many legitimate people are involved.

Without infiltration, what's the use of being a spy?

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:20 | 3196974 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Corzine was going to be named SEC-TRES in the second term. sarc: He could still have it, but he turned down the position because /sarc. Obama recently declared that

“When the history books are written, Tim Geithner is going to go down as one of our finest secretaries of the Treasury.”


Nobody wants go on after the finest treasury secretary in all of history.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 22:44 | 3197497 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

No sarc. needed.  Stealing $1.6 Billion from inocent customer accounts looks good on a Sec. of Treasury resume.  He would be in charge of the IRS, who's job is to take FRNs from citizens.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:48 | 3200887 Debt-Is-Not-Money
Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

"No hope until some of these TBTF/TPTB go to jail.  No hope..."

No hope until ALL of these TBTF/TPTB go to jail.  No hope...

Just a suggestion.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:06 | 3196890 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Oblameo has already explained this to the muppets over a year ago. Wall Street did nothing illegal. They're just immoral. Move along !



Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:49 | 3197076 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I thought he said they were savvy businessmen?

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 00:06 | 3197720 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Really this is being blown out of proportion. It is just like Hillarity said. Really, at this point, what difference does it make?


That is the new Standard of Justice in the United States. If you can demonstrate that it makes no difference then the point is moot. Er...Am I right? Er. Duuuuuh.


In reality we are headed for a systemic collapse. They are losin it and they know it. We now elect a Flaming Queen as our Glorious Sodomite in Chief.


"God save the Flaming Queen" is our new National Anthem.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 21:20 | 3197202 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture


Tue, 01/29/2013 - 21:28 | 3197236 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 00:46 | 3197798 natty light
natty light's picture

Inaction Jackson

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 21:33 | 3197250 pods
pods's picture

Looks like Lando has put on some weight!


Tue, 01/29/2013 - 21:34 | 3197255 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Well, at least we now know what type of porn has held the SEC's investigators interest all these years.

Thanks Banzai ;-)

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 22:08 | 3197378 SnobGobbler
SnobGobbler's picture

those "zetas" should show him the hanging-from-overpass trick; quite the positive effect IMO.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 23:10 | 3197573 Redhotfill
Redhotfill's picture

Banzaison: you forgot caption that says  "would you like to see my monkey?"

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 00:09 | 3197724 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

That needed to be an Original Thread by itself. Good one Banzai.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 02:56 | 3197970 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

Worst gimp suit ever ;-)

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 21:39 | 3197270 The Heart
The Heart's picture

Kinda amazing how this kind of stuff manifests all of a sudden and the cross-hairs of true justice with her double-edged sword narrow down on the real criminals and terrorists of this still can be saved beautiful world. Question is, what's next? Babylon to make the first moves?


Cue in the muppet judges now boss?


Tue, 01/29/2013 - 23:04 | 3197554 killallthefiat
killallthefiat's picture
It's time to skew the muppets
It's time to print some fiat
t's time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight.

It's time to buy some bonds
It's time to play the stocks
It's time to buy some houses on the Muppet Show tonight.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 23:46 | 3197678 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



I have nothing to say here...but all this muppet talk compelled me to make a showing.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 09:00 | 3198187 kwality
kwality's picture

Green shoots ---> Brown grass 

This script is positively Homeric.  So now  that various pockets have been filled with TARPTALFQUEEF cash we will have to prosecute the banks.   Break them up into the good bits and the bad bits.  Selectively default.  Pretend that the wheels of justice have ground slowly but surely but still, nowhere near CorzdiMozilloyille.      

On behalf of all the people who have had cash + assets unfairly stolen forever by the police due to the HLS/DEAs asset seizure program, let me say a great big



Tue, 01/29/2013 - 19:39 | 3196809 gould's fisker
gould's fisker's picture

"confidence can only be restored by demonstrating that there are consistent rules in place that provide accountability for wrongdoing and deter financial predators"

Mmmm, Senators, I'm afraid that's a day (5 years) late and a dollar ($8T) short.  Paging Lanny Breuer . . .

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:08 | 3196921 centerline
centerline's picture

Tough room today!  lol.  I do find it interesting though.  Those questions are pretty pointed.  Although it is theater, the indication here is that we have opened to another act and are one act closer to the fat lady moment.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:57 | 3197113 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

If the bernanke wont publicly admit that the FED is " printing money"

and asserts that central banks hold gold for "Tradition"

Then until I see a clarification of those two answers I will continue to assume that the PTB smoke and mirrors machine is functioning normally.

We now resume your normal programming...

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 21:00 | 3200908 Debt-Is-Not-Money
Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

"If the bernanke wont publicly admit that the FED is " printing money"

He would be lying if he said that, he is printing debt, not money!

If you don't ask the right question you will not get the right answer!

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 21:30 | 3197239 gould's fisker
gould's fisker's picture

Not so tough--I should have said that they had to wait for the Countrywide VIP loan scandal courtesy of that radiated cocksucker Mozilo to blow over a couples of years, or else they would have appeared to be the complete fucking bought and paid for hypocrites that they are. That they were as a body compromised as hell from the start prevented them from doing the right thing by the country, or they surely would have mugged it up for the tv cameras and newspapers years ago for their own vanity. That's approaching "tough."

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:17 | 3196947 Everyman
Everyman's picture

Maybe I can help out the Senators and answer for the "honorable" Eric (Place)Holder

1. Has the Justice Department designated certain institutions whose failure could jeopardize the stability of the financial markets and are thus, “too big to jail”?  If so, please name them.

YES!  All the institutions that have been bailed out and the "non public" corporations.  Freddie and Fannie, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, CitiBank, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Federal Reserve Bank

2. Has the Justice Department ever failed to bring a prosecution against an institution due to concern that their failure could jeopardize financial markets?

NO!, all of those banks and past and present CFO, CEO, COO and BODs that are responsible for complying with the laws on the books we let them all go.  We put Bernie and Martha in Jail, why not Dimon, Blankfeind, Jon Corzine, HANK PAULSEN, Timmy Geitner, Larry Summers, Ben Bernanke, as well as the heads of Freddie and Fannie.  They all conspired to cover up fraud, commit fraud, and to have the audacity to ask for bailouts and then give themselves bounuses for failing to comply with laws.  You can also thrown GOVERNMENT MOTORS for lying about their bankruptcy.  ALL are FEDERAL RICO violations.  With Geitner, Bernanke, Paulsen, Summers, pure out and out marked manipulation, as well as ignoring the HFT manipulations.  But they were doing God's work!

3. Are there any entities the Justice Department has entered into settlements with, in which the amount of the settlement reflected a concern that markets could be impacted by such a settlement?  If so, for which entities?

Lots, and almost ALL of the US DOJ agreements reflected considerable impact to the markets because they were manipulated and sold bogus securities and fraudulently gamed the American Taxpayer.  All the entities that gave you stupid Senators and Representative money!  How fucking stupid can you pricks be???

4. Please provide the names of all outside experts consulted by the Justice Department in making prosecutorial decisions regarding financial institutions with over $1 billion in assets.

Would that be the ones in cahoots with the politicians or the ones that were supporting the side of the fraudulent bankers?  Which group?  That's a pretty long list!

5. Please provide any compensation contracts for these individuals.

Well that's a lot of money, and it would really embarrass a lot of people and piss a lot of taxpayers off, so we best not release that info from the DOJ.  The DOJ doesn't like getting shot at.  ON top of that, you would need a subpena for that even if it is public information.

6. How did DOJ ensure that these experts provided unconflicted and unbiased advice to DOJ?

We got the best information and experts that money could buy, and fortunately they knew all about the issues , because they actually worked for those banks and criminals AND those guys referred them to us!  Best $500,000,000,000.00 we spent, and it really explained all the felonies were really just "honest mistakes" and "they simply did not know" what was going on.


Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:29 | 3197007 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Get over it, skeletons in the closets everywhere, you can't prosecute the whole financial system, nothing would be left.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:35 | 3197029 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Ummm...on "nothing would be left"...I rather think that is the idea, tool.  Removing a parasite from the system is good for the system.  And you are afraid....that if no one is around to sell CDO squared products, guys down at the beef jerky plan will lose their jobs?  


Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:57 | 3197111 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Nobody left to collect tributes for the powerful. Such a system is undefinedd, system error, divizion by zero, halt, reboot required.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 21:46 | 3197291 malikai
malikai's picture

Yes. Where is the button? I will press it.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 00:18 | 3197750 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

You are mistaken. Such a system IS DEFINED. It is called Honesty and Integrity. I know that your kind lack definitions for those fine attributes.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 00:13 | 3197736 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

If it is all corrupt then is that such a bad thing? Obviously, Bunga Bunga, you lack moral turpitude. What is your real name so that I can avoid be stolen from by your company?

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 09:30 | 3198275 kwality
kwality's picture

My dear "Bunga Bunga"  that is PRECISELY the point. 

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:30 | 3197014 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Orange jump suits all around, please.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 23:25 | 3197619 mr. mirbach
mr. mirbach's picture

Would anything have turned out differently if all of the SEC's stacks of evidentiary documentation hadn't gotten shredded? http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2011/08/17/sec-destroys-evide...


Another Grassley dog and pony show.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 00:23 | 3197757 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Come on. Did you really expect the SEC to implode another WTC Bldg#7? Skyscrapers are expensive after all. That is how they got rid of the Enron Scandal and the Gold Anti Trust Case filed by GATA.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 02:36 | 3197951 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture


...The public deserves an explanation of how the Justice Department arrives at these decisions. [/quote]

The same way the Senate and House arrive at them:   "Which one of ya's is paying for my re-election this time?"

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 19:39 | 3196816 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Message to America:

Please stop sending the same corrupt and incompetent senators back to Washington DC...over and over again [especially you, Nevada]

Many thanks.



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