Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Banks, Are They Too Big To Obey The Law?

From the Stein Report.

"Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers -- including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine," says Bloomberg News. "No big U.S. bank -- Wells Fargo included -- has ever been indicted for violating the Bank Secrecy Act or any other federal law. Instead, the Justice Department settles criminal charges by using deferred-prosecution agreements, in which a bank pays a fine and promises not to break the law again."

"There's no capacity to regulate or punish them because they're too big to be threatened with failure," a former investigator with the U.S. Senate said. "They seem to be willing to do anything that improves their bottom line, until they're caught."

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