Tags: holder | seeks | settlements | banks

Holder Pursuing Final Stand Against Wall Street

By    |   Tuesday, 13 May 2014 08:01 AM

Attorney General Eric Holder is making an accelerated final push to pursue the Wall Street banks that helped trigger the 2008 financial meltdown with their role in mortgage-backed securities, and he is conducting a packed schedule of meetings to extract multibillion dollar settlements.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department met last week with Bank of America Corp. to try to clinch a settlement, and in the coming days, the department is working to secure a guilty plea from Credit Suisse Group AG. Later this month, Citigroup Inc. will meet with administration attorneys to discuss a possible settlement. A case against BNP Paribas SA is also being pursued.

"I am impatient," Holder told the Journal. "We're talking about conduct that contributed to the greatest financial disaster since the Great Depression. Not the sole cause, but contributed to it, so this is a priority, and that's why I'm dedicating so much time to it."

The recent flurry of activity comes after years of delays and complications when investigators repeatedly failed to find proof of the banks' alleged criminal activity leading to the financial crisis. In some cases, the administration has decided to shift its focus to other types of wrongdoing, a move that suggests there is a symbolic element to the administration's approach.

Holder's renewed focus on pursuing the financial institutions could also represent his intent to frame his legacy before stepping down, according to the Journal.

Regardless of what Holder achieves pertaining to the banks, there continues to be critics of the administration's approach.

Some suggest the government's pursuit of the banks could be politically-motivated attempt to appease the public which still blames Wall Street for the havoc created on Main Street. Others continue to be outraged that senior bank executives have not faced jail sentences because some banks are "too big to jail," according to the Journal.

"What I think is going on in these charging decisions is the government is taking a bet that these corporations will never go to trial; all they need is probable cause to threaten them into settlements," said Marc Mukasey, who unsuccessfully defended a former executive of Countrywide, the mortgage lender bought by Bank of America in 2008, in a civil lawsuit brought by the government.

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Attorney General Eric Holder is making an accelerated final push to pursue the Wall Street banks that helped trigger the 2008 financial meltdown with their role in mortgage-backed securities, and he is conducting a packed schedule of meetings to extract multibillion dollar...
holder, seeks, settlements, banks
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2014-01-13
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 08:01 AM
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