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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/2/14

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

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Message Michael Payne

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:

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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