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February 2013

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Untouchables - the logic and history of "Too Big To Jail"

February 19, 2013 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: C , HSBC

Over the weekend, I ran into a video of Senator Elizabeth Warren's questioning of a handful of SEC employees responsible for the oversight of banks in the United States. The Senator posed a very simple question that caused a humorous level  awkward discomfort for the SEC panel before her. She wanted to find out when was the last time that the SEC had taken a Wall Street bank to trial? The SEC and the Department of Justice have extracted billions of dollars from Banks through settlements over matters such as illegal dealings with drug cartels, manipulation of Libor, mortgage fraud and the creation of dubious investment vehicles  but they rarely take the cases all the way to court. These cases have almost always been handled by reaching an out-of-court settlement, usually in the billions of dollars, that allows the banks to avoid the harsh light of public trial, while allowing the SEC and DOJ to avoid a lengthly and costly trial in which they will almost surely be outgunned (in terms of legal teams and money).  [more]

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