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Too Big To Jail: It's a Dark Day For the Rule of Law

The opening line of a December 11, 2012 New York Times editorial on federal and state authorities choosing not to indict HSBC for money laundering reads: "It is a dark day for the rule of law."

It may be a dark day for the rule of law, but it's business as usual for the banks.

America's heralded and frighteningly powerful Department of Justice, along with all of the not so heralded or frightening banking regulators, simply refused to prosecute Britain's biggest bank out of fear of "collateral consequences."

In other words, they're "too big to prosecute."

That's what Andrew Bailey, the chief executive-designate of the Prudential Regulation Authority, said about the usual deferred prosecution agreement that accompanied HSBC's $1.9 billion fine. The Prudential Regulation Authority is set to replace the U.K.'s Financial Services Authority – the country's current toothless watch dog,

It's just another example of too big to fail and too big to jail.

Deferred prosecution agreements and hefty fines levied against the world's TBTF banks have become commonplace. Still, there are relatively few criminal charges, just wrist-slapping, don't-do-it-again fines and public spankings.

It is a dark day for the rule of law because the money cloak has effectively been cast over all things having to do with justice.

Let's call it what it is: buying immunity.

The world's biggest banks are too powerful, too intertwined, too "systemically important", and just plain too rich to be challenged.

Regulatory "authorities", along with the most powerful global policeman the world has ever known all shake in their boots when they have to apologize to their bankster masters for putting on a show for the public. But the law is the law and the law apparently needs publicly orchestrated payoffs.

Let's put aside for the moment the corporations themselves and their extraordinary ability to make billions of dollars and laugh behind closed doors at having to pay fines that they can more than cover by the end of the following quarter…

Let's put aside for the moment the fact that those fines are paid, not by insurance policies, not by executives or traders or any of the individuals that commit the crimes, but by shareholders…

And let's put aside for the moment the fact that banks make so much money that they can buy off stupid shareholders by always offering dividends and stock buybacks (that's like to luring them back to be set up and knocked down again like bowling pins).

We'll put all of that aside, just for a moment, and talk about the guilty individuals…

No banking executives or traders or salesmen ever go to jail for the "systemic" banking crimes they commit. Don't you think that's part of the problem?

There is a travesty of justice as the laws are constantly trampled on by the individuals who commit these crimes – not the nameless, faceless corporate entities that publicly take the blame and pay the fines.

Now our moment is up. We can't put aside anything that the banks do, as corporations, because that's where the individuals hide.

Banks that are too big and too powerful and far too dangerous should be dismantled. There should be safety measures to ensure that the banks work for the betterment of the people who expect them to protect the fruits of their life's labors and their business and entrepreneurial endeavors.

People should expect to be able to borrow their own money safely, while the banks put that money to work for the benefit of the depositors.

People should not have to worry about how they're getting ripped off or how the banks are subjecting the global economy to crisis after crisis only to be bailed out again and again.

Here's my New Year's wish, plain and simple: Prosecute all the criminals at all the banks and send the guilty parties to jail after they are stripped of their ill-gotten riches. Then break up all the too-big-to fail, too big too jail banks into bite-sized pieces that no watchdog would ever have trouble eating.

Is that too much to ask?

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About the Author

Shah Gilani is the Event Trading Specialist for Money Map Press. He provides specific trading recommendations in Capital Wave Forecast, where he predicts gigantic "waves" of money forming and shows you how to play them for the biggest gains. In Zenith Trading Circle Shah reveals the worst companies in the markets - right from his coveted Bankruptcy Almanac - and how readers can trade them over and over again for huge gains. He also writes our most talked-about publication, Wall Street Insights & Indictments, where he reveals how Wall Street's high-stakes game is really played.

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  1. Alejandro F. Merigo R. | December 28, 2012

    I'm deeply angered, the Constitution of the United States of America, clearly says: NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW….! so put it into practice and obey our laws, no but's nor excuses, white collar crime is a crime to be punished, no distinction between race, creed or believes, nor origines.
    We expect the rule of law, NOT IMPUNITY.

  2. Nuffalready | December 28, 2012

    The POTUS and his (ahem) 'Justice' Department reports upstairs to the TBTF bankers. We kid ourselves thinking anything else.

  3. Frederick A. Green | December 28, 2012

    The U.S. Justice Department should be renamed to the U.S. Injustice Department. It is corrupt.

  4. Warren Spence | December 28, 2012

    This article is from todays 29-12-2012 Gold Coast Bulletin Australia by Petra Starke ; (www. business page 85 ) .
    Trent Martin an Australian analyst faces 25 years jail in a US prison and a huge fine for insider trading charges while working at a Connecticut brokerage relating to IBM's acquisition of software co SPSS in 2009 . It is alleged he made $7618-00 . He has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of securities fraud . He is to appear in the U S District Court in New York on January 4th 2013 .
    Here is a guy who did the wrong thing and faces 25 years jail plus a fine and the BIG GUYS do no time .It truely seems that United States Justice is clearly wrong .

  5. horedog | December 29, 2012


  6. Sheila Slaughter | December 29, 2012

    It is very sad the injustice that exist in this country and those who have corrupted our
    banking systems , government system continue to engage in actions that puts our entire
    democracy at risk. The individual institutions such has AIG, Wells Fargo maybe too
    big to fail, but individuals within the system can definitely be replaced and should be
    prosecuted when they have broken the law. The large institutions should be fragmented
    into smaller manageable entities. Bring back Glass-Stegal pronto!! What happened to
    the idea of prevention of monopolies? Did we forget what monopolies do when corrupted.
    They control prices, they buy politicians, they see employees as dependable inconveniences,
    the country is their playground and they became kings in a feudal system. True capitalism dies.

  7. Angie C. | December 29, 2012

    Hello Mr. Gilani,

    Everything you write is "right on." But for someone like you who is intelligent, has forsight, is as well experienced in world and money matters, and you certainly come across as a decent person…..yet, you seem surprised at the injustice your eloquently write about. The question is WHY? Surely, you know as well as I, that justice in the true sense is, in our modern times, out of style. Justice does not pay! "Justice" is controlled by characters even more shady than the ones you describe of the criminal doings of banks. How many crises does it take to finally see that we have an Injustice Department, not a Justice Department. It is, however you look at it, and enough hard evidence provides more than ample truth, in the final analysis, controlled by extremely corrupt politicos. It is a system wholly corrupt and criminal, no different from the dealings of the organized Mafia, only this "Justice system" is a legalized Mafia which hides behind a system of facilitation and allowance by the national constituency. Therein lies the rub and it is precisely this fundamental truth which is proving to be the anathema of our national and international condition.

    Only a complete overhaul of the system can do any good. Good luck….I say, sadly.

    Kind regards,


  8. DoktorThomas | December 29, 2012

    Alejandro, senators, congressmen, executive members, all of these individuals' crony friends, the Federal Reserve, and these bankers are all above the law. Only the proletariat are required to follow the tens of thousands criminal laws written into 59 different legal systems. About 50,000 new criminal laws will go into effect on January 1st. USSA insiders are exempt as party members and insiders were in Germany and Russia. The USA you know it barely receives lip service as officials trample everything it stood for… Get your passport while they are still being issued.

  9. Chryss Guiler | January 25, 2013

    This experiment in democracy (republic) is in dire straits. I do get tired of reading comments wherein we all moan and groan and say it needs to be changed and put back to its original founding values, (ie., the Constitution).

    So, what are we going to do? We must do something, and I think soon. I don't know where to begin, other than by rallying in DC, writing to senators and congressmen (hoping ours are not in the bag for the TBTF banks), and screaming outside the Capitol! I'm not one for armed revolution, but I fear that may happen. This sucks, man.

  10. Deborah Chapin | April 11, 2014

    11 April 2014

    Thank you for bringing to light this issue. I see we are already a group of 11, headed up by you, Shah Gilani! That's a very good start. All we need now is a Constitutional Lawyer, with whom we will prepare the indictments, in some form of Citizen's Arrest – to be served by a U.S. Marshall – upon ALL those implicated in the FRAUD that said Individuals have so wantonly wrought upon the entire World – With Intent To Deceive: "BOOK 'em, Dano!"

    If the Federal Courts are corrupt, then We the Citizens MUST do this. If no one else is doing anything, then…we MUST. The second part of this, is: SINCE WHEN do those committing
    fraud get PAID BACK…WITH interest?!…the funds so deceitfully 'converted' (stolen)?

    The funds are OWED BACK to the Citizens of The World…with interest! Turn-about is fair play.

    Do we stand by helplessly, knowing our FoundingFathers are churning in their graves at our collective inaction? Is not Thomas Jefferson first turning to look at you – from within his Nickle; then attempting to come OUT of his Nickle, in his distress at our inaction to Save Our Freedom?

    Will you wait until our streets are awash with our starving, desparate citizens before you WISH
    you had done SOMETHING? This IS that something. The mathematical inevitability of financial collapse will at the very least be restructured back at its authors, through recognition by the world population that this collapse is a designed deceit perpetrated by the Defendants. The Chaos Scenario will be somewhat reduced worldwide if Citizens Of The Globe are actively enjoined as Plaintiffs.

    Once the perpetrators are behind bars, our collective ShipsOfState will right themselves:
    All Hands On Deck!
    The World Is Owed A Jubilee – What Say, Shah?

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