Cocaine Cowboys Know Best Places to Bank

August 10th, 2012 § 0 comments

Jonathan Weil, writing an opinion piece for Bloomberg, makes an interesting link between “too big to fail” banks and criminal activity.

Except we have this mutant species of corporation called too-big-to-fail banks whose collapse might wreck the global economy. No financial institution in the U.S. can survive a felony indictment. So these companies have become un-indictable, creating a perverse nonchalance regarding financial crimes. In 2010, Wachovia paid $160 million to settle criminal allegations of laundering Mexican drug money. By then the bank had been bought by Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), and the Justice Department let it off with a deferred-prosecution deal.

Perhaps this helps to explain the seemingly unending stream of corruption stories emanating from Wall Street. Perhaps being Too Big to Fail not only ensures an endless stream of cheap money but implicit immunity from prosecution.

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