The government and the moneyed elite (i.e., capitalists) work hand-in-hand.
If banks rob the people, they are given a slap on the wrist and told to better ‘regulate’ their own behavior in the future; but if a person robs a bank, they will be locked up in prison for years and their future ruined. (For instance, see this recent example of such class inequality in the administration of ‘justice’).
I mean, can you imagine government lawyers giving this kind of free-pass to any other social group? For instance, if district attorneys went to the ghettos of America and told the poor, Black people living there, “Hey, we’re going to pull all the police out of your neighborhood; ya know, stop all the harassment, intimidation, and racial profiling, and all that. Instead, we’re just asking that you simply reach out and inform us yourselves if you’re involved in any wrongdoing that we should know about. ‘Kay thanks.”
As the financial storm brewed in the summer of 2008 and institutions feared for their survival, a bit of good news bubbled through large banks and the law firms that defend them.
Federal prosecutors officially adopted new guidelines about charging corporations with crimes — a softer approach that, longtime white-collar lawyers and former federal prosecutors say, helps explain the dearth of criminal cases despite a raft of inquiries into the financial crisis.
Though little noticed outside legal circles, the guidelines were welcomed by firms representing banks. The Justice Department’s directive, involving a process known as deferred prosecutions, signaled “an important step away from the more aggressive prosecutorial practices seen in some cases under their predecessors,” Sullivan & Cromwell, a prominent Wall Street law firm, told clients in a memo that September.
But this approach, critics maintain, runs the risk of letting companies off too easily.
“If you do not punish crimes, there’s really no reason they won’t happen again,” said Mary Ramirez, a professor at Washburn University School of Law and a former assistant United States attorney. “I worry and so do a lot of economists that we have created no disincentives for committing fraud or white-collar crime, in particular in the financial space.”
This “outsourcing” of investigations — as some lawyers call it — has led to increased coziness between the government and companies, some critics say.
“Traditionally, a bank would tell the Department of Justice when an employee engaged in crimes, but what do you do when the bank itself is run by a criminal enterprise?” said Solomon L. Wisenberg, former chief of the financial institutions fraud unit for the United States attorney in the Western District of Texas in the early 1990s. “You have to be able to investigate without just waiting for the bank to give you the referral. The people running the institutions are not going to come to the D.O.J. and tell them about themselves.”