Raymond Richman - Jesse Richman - Howard Richman
Richmans' Trade and Taxes Blog
Why Holder Didn't Loot Goldman Sachs
It is hard to prove that Attorney General Holder's shakedown of JPMorgan for $13 billion was politically motivated. The timing suggests political motivation, in that JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon had spoken out against Obama's "anti-business" economic policies during the 2012 election campaign. But timing doesn't prove causation.
The circumstances suggest political motivation, in that the charges mostly stem from shady practices at two failed financial institutions that JPMorgan bought to prevent a chain reaction of defaults, at the request of the Bush administration. But Holder's punishment of public-spirited take-overs, also, doesn't prove political motivation.
The size of the settlement, the largest ever extracted by the government from an American business, and the diversion of $4 billion into a political slush fund suggest political motivation. But, again, they do not prove it.
The strong evidence of political motivation comes from Holder's selective prosecutions. According to an August 10, 2012, press release by Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin, JPMorgan's fellow major bank Goldman Sachs was caught red-handed by his investigative committee in mortgage fraud. Here's a selection:
And yet, the day before Levin's press release, Holder gave Goldman Sachs a free pass. International Business Times reported:
Why was Goldman Sachs exempted from prosecution? Talk show host Michelle Malkin gave some possible reasons in an April 2010 commentary:
In Ayn Rand's dystopia of Atlas Shrugged, Washington goes on a looting spree. Businesses have to buy influence in Washington if they want to avoid being looted. The looting is applauded by ignorant Americans, even as it sends their economy into a downward spiral. Was Rand predicting, back in 1957, just what we see playing out in Washington today?
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