Five Banks Plead Guilty to Federal Crimes, No One Goes to Jail

Five of the world’s biggest banks, including banks that did very well after the global economic collapse and who received tax payer funded TARP funds have plead guilty to a conspiracy to rig global currency exchange rates. The banks – including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc – were fined roughly $5.7 billion.

What is laughible is that not a single bank employee is being held criminally liable for these crimes. The corporations, fictitious entities, are pleading guilty in their corporate capacities, and a few employees are being fired, but not one executive, trader, manager or clerk is being held responsible for essentially stealing billions, possibly trillions of dollars from the very people who bailed these banks out when they defrauded the country and crashed the economy just seven years ago.

JP Morgan Chase for example earned $5.6 billion dollars in profit in 2014 and is required to pay a fine of $550 million dollars. The total fine JP Morgan Chase is paying amounts to less that 10% of their 2014 profits. Citigroup had to pay a fine in the amount of $925 million dollars while their annual profit for 2014 was $7.3 billion dollars making the fine about 12.6% of their annual profit.

While the federal government pats itself on the back to making these banks pay fines which are essentially a fraction of one year’s profits, there appears to be no real punishment for the people running these banks in their corrupt practices at the expense not just of every American tax payer, but in this case, at the expense of virtually every tax payer in Europe as well.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement, ‚ÄúThis Department of Justice intends to vigorously prosecute all those who tilt the economic system in their favor, who subvert our marketplaces, and who enrich themselves at the expense of American consumers.” however, neither Lynch, nor her predecessor, Eric Holder announced the indictment, arrest, or conviction or any living, breathing human being in connection with this fraud.

The message this sends is clear… steal as much money as you want, if you get caught, the corporation you work for will pay a fine that makes absolutely no effect on your income and you will be free to continue stealing as much as you want. Unfortunately, unless and until the tax payers and voters in this country start hold their elected and appointed officials responsible for this absolute failure to enforce the law against the oligarch class, nothing will change.

As a matter of comparison, if a member of the 99% steals a candy bar in New York, the potential punishment is up to one year in jail. If he or she steals over a $1,000 dollars, the potential punishment is up to four years in prison. There are people on Rickers Island right now being held before trial that stole a couple of dollars worth of drug store merchandise like soap.