By Dan DeWalt
Corporate America just received the confirmation that they've been waiting for.
The attorney general of the United States has now admitted that the biggest American financial corporations have created such a labyrinth of their structures and practices that the Justice Department has given up trying to police them in matters ofcorruption or criminal malfeasance, saying that bringing down any of these mega-banks or businesses could cause crash the economy.
In 2008, the Justice Department announced a shift in policy, deciding to be cooperative with the big banks, and to encourage self-policing and self-reporting by the corporations, rather than vigorously prosecuting lawbreaking. After all, according to a DOJ directive of August of that year, "federal prosecutors and corporate leaders typically share common goals."
As Elizabeth Warren pointed out this week in a Senate hearing with Treasury department officials, even though HSBC bank has admitted laundering over 800 million dollars for drug cartels, not one of their bankers has even been charged, let alone convicted for the crime; "If you're caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you go to jail. If you're caught repeatedly, you can go to jail for life. Incidentally, if you launder nearly a billion dollars in drug money, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night."
And it's not just banks. Corporate America has successfully engineered a coup d'etat under our noses without firing a shot. They have paid Congress and the Executive branch to enable this unprecedented power grab through tax laws, finance policy and the gutting of traditional concerns for the welfare of the common citizen. They have enjoyed the collusion of the courts, culminating in the Supreme Court'spreposterous Citizens United ruling that corporations are "people" in the "original intent" of the Constitution. NOW, even the regulators have come out and admitted that they are no longer really in the game.
Consider a few examples just in the state of Vermont: after repeatedly lying to legislators and the public, Entergy of Louisiana sued the state of Vermont in order to abrogate and nullify legitimate state law, destabilizing and overriding state sovereignty. ATT and its white-shinned lawyers have made a mockery of town government with their dog-and-pony show in Newfane. They made no bones about the fact that they had to please only the Public Service Board -- town ordinances or sentiments be damned -- in deciding where to place a controversial cell tower. The giant multinational Iberola contradicts stated policy of the governor regarding town plans and explores wind generation sites in Windham in spite of legal, supposedly binding preemptive work by the town to prevent such development. The governor has been cowed by Monsanto's threat of lawsuit to the extent that he wants to veto a bill simply calling for the labeling of what is in the food we eat.