Here are two items that will upset you…
First, back in February, Attorney General Eric Holder christened the unofficial official doctrine of "Too Big to Jail."
He told Congress, "The size of some of these institutions [TBTF banks] becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if we do prosecute – if we do bring a criminal charge – it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy."
Of course, it was only the christening of another neat little name.
The actual doctrine has been official policy of America's Congress, successive presidents and their administrations, and the alphabet soup of regulatory bodies for as long as anyone can remember.
But a funny thing happened on Tuesday.
Someone pushed back…
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent a letter to the Justice Department, the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
It was a short letter (you can read it here on Mother Jones). The jist of it was, how come you guys always let banksters settle and never take them to trial?
She summed up her letter by reservedly pointing out, "If large institutions can beat the law and accumulate millions" – I'm not sure why she didn't say billions – "in profits and, if they get caught, settle by paying out of those profits, they do not have much incentive to follow the law."
You go, Elizabeth! Only, someone might want to tell her… too big to jail is the law.
Anyway, one day later, yesterday, the always beleaguered Eric Holder (because he's always been out of his league) said this: "Let me be very clear, there's no bank, there's no institution, there's no individual that cannot be prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice. We have had thousands of financially based cases over the last four years."
In other words, completely changing his story.
You go, Eric… hopefully into retirement. Try Mexico, they like you down there.
Then there's this IRS scandal.
Who knew the IRS was an arm of government? I thought it was an extortion arm of the mafia.
But lo and behold, the IRS acts on behalf of the government, which apparently includes terrorizing conservatives.
Yesterday the acting IRS Commissioner, Steven Miller, stepped down amid accusations the agency was giving extra scrutiny to conservative groups who applied for federal tax exemptions.
That's not very nice.
I'm just glad the IRS is two-sided. They impact the President's friends and family, too. Everyone apparently gets theirs.
The President's half-brother certainly "got his" from the IRS – in the form of a very special favor.
A few years back, the Prez's half-brother, Abon'go "Roy" Malik Obama, also the best man at his wedding, set up the Barack H. Obama Foundation to solicit tax exempt contributions (for what, no one really knows).
Only there was little problem. Roy Boy didn't set up a 501(c) tax-exempt entity.
In May 2011, the national Legal and Policy Center filed an official complaint against the non-entity entity.
No worries. The IRS was all over it.
One month later, on June 26, 2011, in record time (just ask any of the conservative groups waiting three years and longer for an IRS ruling on their tax-exempt status), the Foundation was granted tax-exempt status… retroactively (unheard of!) back to December 2005.
According to The Daily Caller, "In addition to running his charity, Malik Obama ran unsuccessfully to be the governor of Siaya County in Kenya. He was accused of being a wife beater and seducing the newest of his 12 wives while she was a 17-year-old school girl." Nice guy. Sure glad they helped him out.
All I'm saying is that it's good to be an American, or not, or a bank, or 501(c).
Have a nice day.
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Shah Gilani boasts a financial pedigree unlike any other. He ran his first hedge fund in 1982 from his seat on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. When options on the Standard & Poor's 100 began trading on March 11, 1983, Shah worked in "the pit" as a market maker.
The work he did laid the foundation for what would later become the VIX - to this day one of the most widely used indicators worldwide. After leaving Chicago to run the futures and options division of the British banking giant Lloyd's TSB, Shah moved up to Roosevelt & Cross Inc., an old-line New York boutique firm. There he originated and ran a packaged fixed-income trading desk, and established that company's "listed" and OTC trading desks.
Shah founded a second hedge fund in 1999, which he ran until 2003.
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