Why Obama Won't Nail Wall Street 'Crooks'
Even Eric Holder is linked to elite financial world
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2012 5:34 PM CDT
In this March 27, 2009, file photo, JP Morgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, left, and Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein leave the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – With President Obama's campaign officially underway, two journalists examine why his promise to end "business as usual" on Wall Street has amounted to more, well, business as usual on Wall Street. "Casting Romney as a plutocrat will be easy enough," write Peter Boyer and Peter Schweizer at the Daily Beast. "But the president's claim as avenging populist may prove trickier, given his own deeply complicated, even conflicted, relationship with Big Finance."

Among the highlights:

  • Obama's choice of Eric Holder as attorney general signaled to Wall Street that the president would play nice—because Holder, like other Justice officials, came from Covington & Burling, an elite law firm that had represented Wall Street firms. "Obama delivered heated rhetoric, but his actions signaled different priorities," write Boyer and Schweizer.
  • "Justice's inaction regarding the big Wall Street firms is not for a lack of suspicious activity": Three government investigations found wrong-doing on Wall Street, including Goldman Sachs' creation of a mortgage-backed security investment in 2007 that "seemed designed to fail."
  • In his state of the union speech, Obama promised to create a "special unit" to investigate Wall Street funny business, but at the same time, Justice officials were seeking a settlement with five major banks that some attorneys general found far too lenient.
The Justice Department says banks were more greedy and immoral than law-breaking, "but the powers of the Justice Department are immense, and a more aggressive prosecutor surely could have found cases to make." Click for the full article.

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Showing 3 of 40 comments
saucier111
May 8, 2012 11:23 AM CDT
Eric Holder is to busy trying to shut down legal medical Marijuana facilities, that the majority of the citizens voted for. Both parties are corrupt, but the gop takes the prize. We need a real third party in America to break up this monopoly, and I don't mean tea party. The lunatics of the tea party will discredit any new party that tries to get a foot hold. Up to the 1850's the replubician-democratic party was one party, they pretended to split to control our politics and it has worked.
Winston_Smith
May 8, 2012 4:57 AM CDT
Obama has been much more aggressive in pushing new regulations against future problems than in prosecuting for past ones, although there have been some civil fraud settlements. This is pretty consistent with his approach to governing, which emphasizes three things: (1) long term solutions in preference to short term fixes, (2) avoidance of open confrontation with his adversaries or supposed adversaries, and (3) establishing himnself as clearly, but not too far, to the left of the Republicans on most issues. This isn't really that far from what we should have expected given much of his rhetoric in 2008 ("the politics of the possible", "post-partisanship"). Of course all the money he got from Wall Street didn't hurt either.
Jeffrey-Lebowski
May 8, 2012 1:30 AM CDT
As Boyer and Schweizer report, Department of Justice criminal prosecutions are at 20-year lows for corporate securities and bank fraud. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/07/justice-for-sale-holder