We’ve been reporting on this for a while but there was a hearing in Congress yesterday on Op Chokepoint.
It’s understandable. Holder once made his living defending the big banks and likely will go back to defending the big banks when he leaves the Department of Justice. So it’s not smart to alienate any future clients. The fact that the people who had the hidden Swiss bank accounts might be politically sensitive was also probably a factor here. One does not upset the club members if one wishes to remain in the club. Holder wants very much to remain in the club.
DOJ can’t physically go in and just shut down payday lenders, ammo manufacturers, and tobacconists (yet), but they can flood the companies which process payments for these businesses with requests and compliance paperwork to the point where business can’t be done. And that’s what they are doing.
This is what drives me crazy about at least some Republicans. Even Ted Cruz, supposedly someone who is for a smaller government and for reining in the power of bloated federal agencies thinks somehow that Washington has the obligation to enforce drug laws which are arguably unconstitutional in the first place. How can one be for limited government, for the Constitution, if one is for the incredibly expensive and often terribly unjust Drug War?
He gave a huge one to HSBC which laundered hundreds of millions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels because if he prosecuted he said it could destabilize the financial system. Too big to jail.
Now another one. Holder is retiring soon to defend banks in court (like he did before) so we shouldn’t be surprised. Credit Suisse may very well become a future client. (After a cooling off period of course, to keep things kosher.)
In the end, it’s all about raising money for campaigns.
Jamie Dimon is no boy scout and his firm JP Morgan, has benefited immensely from artificially low interest rates from the Federal Reserve and from connections to the Federal government. The bank for the most part sailed out of the 2008 Crash. Aside from the “London whale” incident, the Obama years have been very good ones for the bank. It has seen its partnership with the government grow along with its bottom line over the last half decade.
“My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.” – Barrack Obama March 27, 2009
The president was speaking to the heads of America’s largest banks in the White House shortly after his election. At this extraordinary meeting, Obama and his administration made it very clear that the big banks would play ball or have problems.
The CEOs of the big banks genuflected, as was wise. Jamie Dimon, Ken Lewis, and others knew what was expected of them. The play for these men was to roll over, which they did. And to write checks to Democrats, which they did.
They had already written big checks to Obama in the 2008 campaign. Wall Street piled onto the Obama bandwagon when things began to look obvious. Goldman Sachs employees for instance were Obama’s largest contributor after the University of California system. JP Morgan and Citi were not far behind.
They all got protection from the “pitchforks,” courtesy of President Obama. In particular, they got protection from legal actions connected to the Crash.
This president and his administration have sought to chill dissent. Like the political correctness fanatics which now run our universities (a movement from which Obama it should be noted emerged) who chill speech at every turn in the name of “tolerance and diversity” this president uses similar newspeak when he calls for transparency and “freedom.”
James Rosen, defense reporter for Fox News was tracked by the Department of Justice in 2009. His private emails were read, his comings and goings around Washington DC were monitored.