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.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
buzzsaw99's picture

Dog and pony show.

Tsar Pointless's picture

Ooh! Ooh! Can I have the pony when the show is over?

centerline's picture

At least when the show is over we can eat the pony.  I'll bring the BBQ sauce.

IridiumRebel's picture

Whopper! Flame broiled horse!

Unprepared's picture

Yeah, each eat their favorite animal*


*that would be said animals' genitalia for you Hold'er.

Albertarocks's picture

"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 HAD TO ASK?  HOW OLD ARE THEY...6?  Jesus Christ gentlemen, step up to freaking plate and lay a beating on somebody already.

buzzsaw99's picture

The senator for the law firms and the senator for the uh, insurance companies, and um bankers, want to know how this shit happened. :whatever:

NoDebt's picture

Well said.

Won't happen, of course, but still well said.

Kind of talk I recall coming out of my own mouth before I started taking my government-recommended crazy pill every day.  It doesn't hurt any more since I started taking them.


jomama's picture


luckily for (them), most americans really are that stupid.

TrustWho's picture

Blind Justice is the theory that law should be viewed objectively with the determination of innocence or guilt made without bias or prejudice. It is the idea behind the United States Supreme Court motto “Equal Justice Under Law” and is symbolized by the blindfolded statue of Lady Justice which is the symbol of the judiciary.

I do not believe Attorney General Holder cares about Blind Justice, so Fuck you bernanke, dimon, loydfein etc too!

NotApplicable's picture

Nope, he's obviously peeking.

css1971's picture

Jeez, all he did was take the blindfold off so Justice could see better.

joego1's picture

Bark bark bark......

f16hoser's picture

Honestly, I forgot we had a Senate. Representatives and Judicial branch too , for that matter. Lock and Load gentleman. DHS and the Chinks are coming.

Cult of Criminality's picture

And Eric,about that fast and furious thing...

Was fast and furious refering to, how to cover up the documented case of you giving weapons to murderers?.Seems nothing has come of it .

What about the law applying to you and the administration for accelerating the crimes in America and worldwide?

If none of you pussies that stand behind your armed guards and towers are comfortable in this republic, why do you not go to North Korea or Venzuela,Cuba .Why stay where you are not wanted and not happy. You should be in prison yourself.

Curiously_Crazy's picture

North Korea, Venzuela and Cuba have entry requirements ;)

dick cheneys ghost's picture

''I always wanted to be a Banker''

jplotinus's picture

Better late than never, perhaps?
Better little than nothing at all, maybe?

Chances are, if anything is to happen, it'll be because the people do it themselves.

NotApplicable's picture

With that Hopium quiver in your voice, you sound like the type that would whitewash the fence for poor ol' Tom Sawyer.

Just sayin.

orangegeek's picture

The solution is to replace Bernanke with Bernie Madoff.


We'll finally get some consistent and predictable results.

booboo's picture

Dear Senators: In response to your letter, may I remind you that Our Fuhrer Heir Obama can place your names on a kill list tonight and you will cease to exist by morning, I suggest you step back away from your demands or I will be forced to place you and your families names on the Kill List.

Always at your service, (what ever church they may hold it at)

Field Marshall Holder

Vendetta's picture

they're all on the same team, they just play opposing teams when the camera's and microphones are on.

hooligan2009's picture

Drone on (to your head!)

IridiumRebel's picture

"The large number of private and government lawsuits since the global financial crisis continues to undermine public confidence in our financial markets."

Nobody believes this market. People are scared of it. I am. I am going for tangible assets. They can pretend and extend and fuck unicorns til purple skittles shit out their ass......
Everyone knows its all rigged and is staying out of this charade. It makes everything seem fake. The media, the policy makers and money changers are untrustworthy schmucks. I hope everyone turns on them. The market will have its day. Why do you think they are conducting chopper dropper exercises in LA/MIA/HOU? They knows that when these people wake up, THEY ARE GONNA BE FUCKING PISSED. Me? I'll be in the country with the family or worse comes to worse LEAVING.

Rusty Shorts's picture

- speaking of chopper dropper, I saw, umm, at lights, umm nevermind...and I'm nowhere near any of those places..

Rusty Shorts's picture

Ok, I'm not believeing this shit, they just came over again...WTF??? I'm way out in the sticks here.

IridiumRebel's picture

I don't wanna show my hand, but short of a nuclear explosion on the farm, we will make it.

Long Horses

Dr. Engali's picture

Sounds like they are edging closer to nationalizing the banks to me. Too big to fail? To big to prosecute? Well then our only resort is to nationalize them and put our " pure as the wind driven snow" friends in charge.

Cult of Criminality's picture

Mayor Bloomberg

You can get the fuck out of here too along with your Ilk and Minions.

nmewn's picture

Here's a good one on our favorite midget dictator Bloomie...

"In the video, Bloomberg is seen surrounded by security. Mattera approaches Bloomberg and asks, “In the spirit of gun control, will you disarm your entire security team?”


Bloomberg’s reply: “Uh, you, we’ll get right back to you.”


“Why can you defend yourself but not the majority of Americans?” Mattera asks as the mayor walks away. “Look at the team of security you’ve got. And you’re an advocate for gun control?”


The video then cuts to Mattera walking further down the street when one of the men guarding Bloomberg, identified as Officer Stockton NYPD, stops Mattera and asks to see his photo ID.


Mattera complies before asking, “Is this standard procedure for the press? Wait, wait, wait, it’s standard procedure to be questioning members of the press?


The officer reaches inside his jacket and grabs a pen, as if to write down the journalist’s name. “You’re going to write it down now?” asks Mattera. “Oh, no, sorry,” says Officer Stockton."

When the First & Second Amendments collide ;-)

XitSam's picture

I'm shocked. Shocked. To find that gambling is going on in here.

Your winnings, sir.

Oh, thank you very much.

Cult of Criminality's picture

Honor.... among ..thieves is what it means to them.

The Heart's picture


Clicked on the article and alas, no muppets judges cartoon scene to watch.

Might have been far more entertaining than all the real puppet people shows.

Om Shalom.:.


MrSteve's picture

Just envision the Federal Eagle saying "Hrrruummph- NO!" and you get the flavor of the whole charade. Where have these small-s senate clowns been since 2007 ? Not representing the voters, that's for sure.

q99x2's picture

Holder got promoted into that position because of his cover-up of Oklahoma City. Its a gang of thugs in DC and what they are doing is dangerous to everyone including the elite because even with total control over the population once the system becomes unstable there is no certainty as to the outcome. The DC people must also be feeling the fear being brought on by the banksters. When the society goes down this path no one is safe.

NotApplicable's picture

While control is never absolutle, they ensure certainty of outcome by eliminating sustainable/feasible alternatives. This is accomplished by breaking things the way they like, before it has the chance to collapse on its own.

And if it doesn't work? Why there's always more stuff to break to create further obfuscating distractions.

ebworthen's picture

This from the CLOWNS who voted for the Bailouts, N.D.A.A., and the Fiscal Cliff "deal".

Un-fucking-repentent lying scumbag sacks of shit.

Hey boys!  Jon Corzine?


spinone's picture

Fucking HA!  The only reason anyone would bring this up in the Senate is because its a sure thing it won't happen.


Honorable Senator my ass.

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture


I think the senator capitalizes and hyphenates his odd last name.

Clashfan's picture

I thought MyAss was a corporation or person involved in the Enron scandal?

Ms. Erable's picture

You talkin' 'bout the same boatload-of-assclowns Senate that just confirmed JFK (John Fucking Kerry, not the other one) as SecState?

Partial hangings and evisceration for the lot, I say!

Rusty Shorts's picture

The silent Stock Market Crash of 2000 - 2006;


..the U.S. dollar from 2000-2006 to the euro $0.75 to $1.60, the U.S. dollar crashed from 2000-2006 oil from $10 to $160, gold from $245 to $1200. The greatest wealth loses in world history > as U.S. Military coup happened. FACT, FACT, FACT. - Kevin Blanch

NotApplicable's picture

Wait... exactly when did the military coup replace the bankster's Coup of 1913?

I'm not seeing it.

Bunga Bunga's picture

They will grill some officials on the hill, so that sheeples think, juctice works when it doesn't.

IamtheREALmario's picture

Maybe it is just another ruse... or

Maybe the Congress Critters are starting to realize that they are an endangered species and that the money they have been accepting to make their life easier is just bait fattening them up for slaughter.... just as the money the Federal government gives the states and special projects, which is too attractive to pass up (but costs the banks and Federal government absolutely nothing because they print the stuff) is designed to make them dependent slaves with a debt they can never repay (it is designed to be).

There are alway those who sell out their people for personal gain. However, I believe that when it is time, their lifestyle choice will not benefit them. They know too much and have too much support for a dictator to keep them around.

Myabe it is too late to stem the misallocated flow of free fiat and to start reconstructing the productive capacity and rightful government of the country ... I do not know.

Seasmoke's picture

What does Eric Holder even do ? And why does it always look like he is looking at 2 people at the same time ?

IamtheREALmario's picture

To me it always looks as if Holder feels shame for the job he feels that he is forced to do. He looks like a trapped animal.

Unprepared's picture

The other advantage of a chameleon is camouflage. Anybody seen Colin Powell?