Eric Holder official portrait.jpg
US Attorney General Eric Holder
Well that didn’t take long. Not more than a day after the “historic” settlement with JPMorgan was announced and the Department of Justice has found itself under heavy scrutiny for trying to “scam” the public and letting arch-criminals off the hook with a relatively small fine.
One of the first to cry foul was FDL Alum David Dayen who called the settlement by DOJ a “bait and switch.”
It’s beyond clear that giving away indemnity for illegal foreclosures to get the resources to prosecute the “real” fraud was a bait-and-switch. The very premise was flawed; you don’t indemnify one set of crimes to get to the other, you prosecute wherever possible. This idea of a “new aggressiveness” from the Justice Department on prosecuting big banks is hokum. The giveaways may be sneakier and more well-hidden, but they’re still giveaways. And accountability is still nowhere to be found.
Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report went even further. Ford said Wall Street had become “untouchable” and that Attorney General Holder was merely a tool for finance capital.
However, it is wrong to deride Holder and Obama as merely timid in the face of Wall Street’s awesomely destructive power. Rather, they are instruments of finance capital’s hegemony. Holder has ruthlessly maneuvered every case against the oligarchs into his own jurisdictional arena, in order to protect the banksters from aggressive prosecution by wayward state officials. Holder’s “settlements” are designed to insulate the banks from the rule of law, since, at this stage of systemic decay, the Lords of Capital can no longer function within existing legal constraints.
For the people in the know and following the issue the “historic” settlement is anything but. Rather than setting new precedents for the deterrence of financial fraud the settlement is reinforcing preexisting corrupt standards of behavior with the seal of the United States Government over it.
Eric Holder, a former and likely future Wall Street lawyer, has proven once again that he cares more about helping Wall Street than serving the public interest.