By Simon Johnson
In a recent interview with PBS’s Frontline, Lanny Breuer – head of the criminal division at the Department of Justice – appeared to admit that some financial institutions were too big to prosecute. In the “too big to fail is too big to jail” controversy that ensued, lobbyists and other supporters of big Wall Street firms tried all kinds of complicated ways to spin Mr. Breuer’s words.
Their job got a lot harder yesterday when Eric Holder, the attorney general, stated clearly to the Senate Judiciary Committee,
“I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy,” (Watch the video for yourself.)
According to Mr. Holder, speaking as the top enforcer of the country’s laws, “some of these institutions have become too large.”
Senator Sherrod Brown (D, OH), a leading voice for making the biggest banks smaller, reacted in this way, Continue reading