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Big Banks Fined Mega-Billions; CEOs Remain Untouched, Above the Law

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Get arrested for robbing a bank or shoplifting and you will go to prison. Get caught selling cocaine or steal a car and you will do jail time. But if you are a CEO of one of the biggest banks in America and that bank is fined mega-billions for fraudulent practices you need not worry because the U.S. Justice Department will give you a free pass; you are, in effect, above the law.

That is beyond comprehension, a clear travesty of justice, but it has become commonplace in America. Just look at the following list of U.S. and some foreign banks that have been fined billions of dollars. Not one of their top executives has been prosecuted in connection with the violations of the law that led to these fines:

$25 billion - Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, BAC, and Ally Financial - 2012

$13 billion - J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. -- 2013:

$9.3 billion - Bank of America, Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan and 10 others -- 2013:

$8.5 billion - Bank of America -- June 2011:

$2.6 billion - Credit Suisse AG -- May 2014:

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1.9 billion - HSBC Holdings, HSBA - 2012

$1.5 billion -- UBS, AGUBSN - 2012

$1.4 billion - 10 Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and J.P. Morgan -- 2003

What fraudulent practices brought on these massive fines? They involved mortgage foreclosure processing abuses, claims over residential-backed mortgage securities, deceptive mortgage loan application processes, associated tax evasion, manipulated interbank lending rates, and conflicts of interest between research and investment banking sectors.

Here's a very simple question: is it possible, is it even conceivable that these banking corporations could have been found guilty of these abuses and assessed these monumental fines by the U.S. Justice Department but that their CEOs and/or other corporate officials were not involved in the planning and, in fact, did not orchestrate them?

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The answer, quite obviously, is absolutely not. There is no way in the world by which these fraudulent schemes could be planned and put into operation within these banks without the direct involvement of these CEOs. But time and time again we see the Justice Department act as if they are completely untouchable.

When these enormous fines are assessed do these bank executives ever get the message that they cannot continue to get away with their deceitful, manipulative practices? Do they ever realize that they need to begin to operate their businesses in a lawful, ethical manner? Apparently not! That's because the CEOs and financial officers know full well that they are being protected and so their white collar crimes continue unabated. They know they have the support of the government and that the government will continue to bail "Too big to fail" banks out with taxpayer dollars even when they continually break the law.

As bad as this situation seems it's even far worse as we see the Federal Reserve pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the banking industry through what is called "Quantitative Easing". This QE is a program created in late 2008 whereby the Fed purchased mortgage-backed bonds and other securities to provide banks with funds with which to initiate loans that would stimulate business and create new jobs.

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)

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Critically needed change can come if the people, f... by michael payne on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 10:54:31 AM
Well if banks are corporations and the US Supreme ... by Paul Roden on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 11:34:14 AM
I wonder if anyone has calculated the profits made... by Richard Mathis on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 11:48:03 AM
The board would fire any CEO who cost the bank and... by Simon Leigh on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 1:00:13 PM
Paul, Richard & Simon:How very bizarre is this? We... by michael payne on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 2:29:33 PM
The United States has become a crime scene. ... by Kenneth Johnson on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 5:11:25 PM
I have also been directly affected by dishonest Ba... by Pal Palsimon on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 at 11:29:53 AM