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« Gartman's Warning: Don't Buy Gold Coins | Main | Trader Arrested After $1 Billion Trade In Apple Goes Wrong »

Kroft: Why Have No Banking Executives Been Prosecuted?

Video is a web-exclusive and was not broadcast on 60 Minutes.

Steve Kroft gives up hope.

At the 5:18 mark, Kroft's epitaph is utterly sickening in its hopelessness:

"I think this is the last story I’ll do about nobody being held accountable because I really have sort of given up.  I don’t think that the federal government—either the S.E.C. or the Justice Department—are going to believe in bringing cases against individuals.  I just don’t think that they’re going to."


Kroft tried pretty hard on 60 Minutes to get at the real roots of the financial crisis. And yet he never put the blade into punks like Lanny Breuer.  How in the hell do you do an interview about the lack of criminal prosecutions without having a basis for historical comparison, say, the 3400 people who went to jail for the S&L frauds?  When Breuer says, "well, it's just soooooooooo hard to prove criminal intent," I mean, put it to him:

(1) How do you account for Blll Black jailing over 1000 financial executives with a 90% conviction rate after the S&L crisis? Is the man a sorcerer?

(2) Has the burden of proof in criminal trials changed in the last 500 years? Why do you keep harping on criminal intent, proof of which has posed the same legal hurdle for centuries?

(3) Isn't it true that with networks and computers capturing every corporate communication for the last 15-20 years, prosecutions should be a lot easier since the paper trail is now a paper superhighway?

(4) Tell us exactly what evidence you'd need to see in order to prosecute everyone at MF Global between Jon Corzine and the person who authorized the illegal transfer of $1.6 billion in customer funds? What additional evidence--if you can even think of any--do you need to bring Corzine up on a violation of Sarbannes-Oxley?

(5) With respect to robo-signing, forged affidavits are on file in courts all over the country, complete with names, titles, and signatures of the criminals. Why are there not 100,000 people in jail for this? Do you not believe, sir, that fraud on the court is a crime? (And don't even mention Taylor Bean & Whittaker, because we know that Neil Barofsky shamed you into bringing that case, which you did only reluctantly.)

(6) Didn't your law firm create MERS, which is part of the foreclosure crisis? Does this fact account for the DOJ's wholesale failure to prosecute robo-signing crimes?

Lanny Breuer is a clown and a liar, and exposing him as such would take just a modicum of preparation. Watching Breuer waltz through interviews is like watching Chauncey the Gardner rise to the executive office in Being There in real time. It's just surreal. I feel like Quentin Tarantino's character in Desperado when he's in the back room pointing at the monitor feed of the bar as Antonio Banderas is shooting the place up with an arsenal of weapons (at 0:40): "Is that going on right now?"

So on the one hand, I'm grateful for all the great work that Kroft did in exposing the corruption, crime and graft that defines the fascist axis between Wall Street and Washington, D.C. But on the other hand, I just scratch my head and wonder why he took the inquiry only 99 yards in certain cases.

When your foot is on the enemy's neck, you stomp down hard with all your weight until it's over. That's just what you do.

Don't think it can be done? Wrong.  Here's how Iceland did it--for the very same fraud-fueled crisis that's crippled our own economy.


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Reader Comments (16)

With the head of the nation's #1 bordello masquerading as a financial regulator (the Secretion Exchange Commission) about to depart, Obama--despite getting openly bitch slapped by Wall Street throughout the election--has doubled down on his obsequiousness before Lord Lloyd and His Honor Jamie by searching for a replacement who can match Mary Schaprio's jaw-opening track record in and with the financial sector.

After reading this, my money is on Robert Khuzami:

Nov 29, 2012 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
John, this is just absolutely top-notch stuff. Did you send it to Steve Kroft? Maybe you should.
Nov 29, 2012 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork
TV news will always be, at best, softball and/or limited hangout. This is one reason:

"ABC is owned by Disney corporation, 'which produces toys and products in developing countries where they provide their workers with atrocious wages and working conditions.' It has 153 TV stations. Chase Manhattan controls 6.7% of ABC's stock - enough to give it controlling interest. Chase, through its trust department, controls 14% of CBS and 4.5% of RCA. Instead of three competing television companies called NBC, CBS, and ABC, what we really have is the Rockefeller Broadcasting Company, the Rockefeller Broadcasting System, and the Rockefeller Broadcasting Consortium." - Daniel Estulin, The True Story Of The Bilderberg Group, 2007
Nov 29, 2012 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSutheman

Thanks, but no I didn't. Do network guys read fan mail?

In any event, this whole thing gets at an issue that's bothered me since the election brought it into focus, namely, the lesser-evil argument from apologists for the old regime. We heard it constantly for weeks: I'm gonna vote for Obamney because he's not as bad as Robama. The truth of the matter, of course, is that they're both lapdogs for the predator elite. Purely on principle (e.g., the rule of law is important), you have no business voting for either one.

But if that's right, I see no reason why the same diagnosis doesn't apply when there's a spectrum of opinions in play rather than only two. So yeah, while Kroft puts shame in the game of Brian Williams and Anderson Cooper, of what use is pulling punches on a Lanny Breuer, or anyone else for that matter?

Kroft is only an example. I hear the same authenticity-type questions all the time about people like Alex Jones and Mandelman (to pick 2 more examples).

It is now year 5 for the crisis, and yet NOTHING has changed despite the plangent wail from the alternative media. Forgive me for wondering--as Sutheman expressly states--how much of that sphere is itself a sort of charade? Is there not a litmus test to separate voices for real change from those who merely function to vector the rage of people whose eyes are open to some place deemed safe by the elite?
Nov 29, 2012 at 5:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
The DOJ is a shameless one-trick pony. Rather than prosecuting high-profile bankers whose fraud caused TRILLIONS in losses to the economy, the DOJ targets high-profile... sports stars (Roger Clemens) and celebrities (Martha Steward, Mark Cuban).

This time the DOJ is going after Doug DeCinces, the 3rd baseman who played with the Orioles in the 70's and Angels in the 80's.


DeCinces allegedly made a million bucks trading on inside information. Gosh, he should have traded a million SHARES based on insider information like Warren Buffett with Moody's. That way Obama would call him a savvy businessman and he'd avoid all charges.


A DOJ spokesman commented on its "insider baseball" case today:

"It's just soooooooooo hard to prove criminal intent," Lanny Breuer said, "except when we need to make people think we give a shit about financial crime. This case will be the fucking rage on sports talk radio!"
Nov 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
The biggest crime Doug Decinces ever commited in his life was to follow Brooks Robinson at third base for the Orioles. Even his own mother slapped him for doing so and that is how he ended up in Kalifornia. Seriously we are just a bunch of rubes.
Nov 29, 2012 at 10:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
It all comes down to one simple thing...

We have the best Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches money can buy. Meanwhile the clock is ticking on the statute of limitations...

And Cheyenne, you are correct, voting for the "lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.
Nov 30, 2012 at 3:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers

Someone (Allie, I think) posted this story to Reddit and it's going viral. About 10,000 views just since last night.
Nov 30, 2012 at 11:16 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
"We have the best Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches money can buy. Meanwhile the clock is ticking on the statute of limitations..."

Yup. In a nutshell. How are things, Gomp? Massive corruption and looting, notwithstanding, of course.
Nov 30, 2012 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork
No one is holding any of the banksters accountable, AND no one is holding the people accountable for failing to prosecute. 9/11 was a turning point of lawlessness.
Dec 1, 2012 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered Commenterwayne
Going o.k. Pitch, got a couple of projects keeping me very busy. Hope things are going well for you. Wish I could say the same for the rest of my community, many are still unemployed, under employed, and facing foreclosure.
Dec 1, 2012 at 12:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
A bit off topic, but...

After Sanford company’s money stolen, court rules banks are responsible if hacked



A recent court ruling involving a Sanford construction company and its bank could have nationwide implications as attorneys and policy makers debate who’s at fault when anonymous computer hackers steal money electronically.

People’s United Bank agreed last week to reimburse Patco for $345,000 in funds stolen by hackers after the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston decided the bank was liable in the case, Patco attorney Dan Mitchell confirmed Thursday.

The latest development creates a precedent in what is still considered largely uncharted legal ground surrounding emerging cyber security threats and who is most responsible for keeping commercial bank accounts safe: banks or their corporate customers?

“There had been no cases that had been decided that construed this law before,” Mitchell said. “From now on, when cases come up like this, there will be at least one legal guidepost for them to rely on.”
Dec 1, 2012 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Seriously openly bitch slapped from the financial industry roflmao

JPMorgan Employees Join Goldman Sachs Among Top Obama Donors

By Jonathan D. Salant - Mar 20, 2012


President Barack Obama’s largest campaign donors last month included employees of Wells Fargo & Co., (WFC) JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission records.
Their support indicates that Wall Street, which gave Obama $16 million for his successful 2008 White House run, is opening its checkbook again for the president. The contributions helped Obama raise $21 million in February, including $6.5 million transferred from a joint fundraising committee with the Democratic National Committee.

Dec 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterLadyLiberty
The sec is as corrupt as the criminals, especially with the doj looking the other way. The media are lapdogs for the corrupt propoganda machine in d.c. And the public is getting the bill after being taken behind the woodshed. Fascism is here to stay no doubt about it. Do some research into "the miscreants global bust out." It'll blow your mind. Justice is being raped on a daily basis. Goldman Sachs, jp Morgan, Citibank blah, blah, blah....they're all freaking crooks. They own the administration and there's nothing the little people will ever be able to do to change it. It's sickening. We're totally screwed.
Dec 12, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterrapedandlovingit
From the point of view of British interests, there is no corruption apparent, nor criminals to be seen. Since the last 9 presidential administrations have been occupied by Skull and Bones, Bush41 criminal cabal, and freemason presidents, all judicial appointments have been by individuals loyal to the English Crown by way of their freemasonic and S&B affiliation. Stop puzzling and face the eternal truth. Our presidents are selling us out through treasonous acts with the queen of England(queen lizard) the subject of their largesse. Treason, bubba.
Dec 12, 2012 at 10:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoward T. Lewis III
I will give you a new angle in this Game of cash/burn, the use and missuse of Investments, mainly done by goverments.

In any issue regarding infrastructure(IS), the tax and or fees payed are usaly larger than the inputt Back to the very same area those tax/fees are collected, like highway maintance/upgrade/whatever, the trick if to make or propose that this is controlled and finaced by Private banks(intresses/gonglomerats/whatever, and then they(gov) Lend the money to cover for the task menth to be done, reagrding a freeway(an ex).
The thing is that, the new highway fee goes, to cover Intress to, and that alon can rise upto 20-40% of the totale costs, to runn this prodject, like the new hitt, paying for use, by instaled gates, all that is payed by You and the rest.
This is legalized plunder, done by Banks and goverments.
The fact is that Infrastucture is always, as sosciale goods(from free scools to fee healtcare) an investmnet, it always pays out in the long runn. Its the short time gains that is the driving force behind this new religion, of Keyniasinism.
When you study, the Ballance, in Income tax, sosciale bennefits, healtcare, a.s.o. its usualy never in great Inballance, its all the rest putt to the Budget wars/austretys that RUINS countrys, never sosiciale bennefits, they have a 90% rate of been invested back into the comunety, ther is NOTHING that can compare to this kind of cashflow in a sosiety.
Of course it sould be profitable to work, its not an issue, but made to by force, to drive the average salarys down, like the downfall of income in the USA.
Start to read the Numbers in a different fasion, and things will be different, than the imposed dogmas and flattout lies about Economy.

The Flaw is Intress, its totaly unnesesery and costly, when the initial tax/fees are more that sufficient to cover a New prodject, and that alone will reduce tha costs, the hole issue is based on the notion of capital controll. We pay an entety that is infact Just a Parasitt to handle the cash, in any sence its will inflate the price. I even LOOOSE money on simply having a acount, that alone is plain thefth.

And all this Intress is devestating must becomed clear, the fact that this scam is at National level is mindboggeling, the FeD is the drivel of this Robbery by Intress/rents, the goverment PAYS intress on its OWN money, lended by a PRIVATE bank.

Capice, even the old scool Mafia had MORE comon sense, and would never ever consider to kill, the whery hand that makes His living possible and profitable.
The only comparable entety I can possibly imagine that is driven by the same "nature force", is canser.

Dec 13, 2012 at 4:27 AM | Unregistered Commentermikael

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