Lanny Breuer’s Theory of Chatting Accountability for CEOs

[youtube]L_Mg6YOxjTg[/youtube]

This whole video is worth watching. Eliot Spitzer, former US Attorney Mary Jo White, and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer discuss financial crimes, with SIGTARP head Neil Barofsky moderating. I was fairly troubled, in general, of the hesitations White and Breuer expressed over actually prosecuting financial crime.

But I found the passage just after 46:00, where Lanny Breuer argues you don’t need prosecutions for deterrence among CEOs, to be stunning.

Look, I want to be clear, I don’t want to suggest for a moment that we don’t–and we will–aggressively pursue cases criminally but, I guess both as a defense lawyer, which I was for many years, a white collar defense lawyer and now as AAG, I don’t think we should completely discount the deterrent effect when we investigate cases even if we don’t bring them.

If a CEO or CFO of a major institution feels that he or she is subject to criminal liability, when we interview them or put them in the grand jury, they have lawyers and this is hanging over their head for years and years. It may be at the end we decide not to prosecute the company or the individual but I think it’s really inaccurate to suggest that that doesn’t have a very strong effect. I’m not sure CEOs on Wall Street right now feel as if they can do what they want and there’s no deterrence.

He returns to a discussion of “going in and out” between corporate representation and DOJ after 52:00 and he avoids talking about robo-signing at 1:00.

As you read that, think about what has happened with Lloyd Blankfein. He bullshitted Carl Levin’s investigatory committee back in April 2010. Levin released a report last year stating he had lied, and referred his investigation to DOJ.

And Lloyd Blankfein, who almost two years ago didn’t take Congress sufficiently seriously to tell the truth, is still running around free profiting off of European countries’ debts.

Does Breuer really think seeing Blankfein treat Congress and regulators with utter disdain served as a deterrent to anyone? On the contrary, what appears to have been Lanny’s Chatting Accountability for CEOs only serves to show that these MOTUs are above the law.

Tweet about this on Twitter6Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook26Google+0Email to someone

20 Responses to Lanny Breuer’s Theory of Chatting Accountability for CEOs

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel RT @kgosztola: Hackers, next time you face charges of exceeding use of computer, tell judge it was misunderstanding https://t.co/f1mEtwOv8a
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel As you get outraged abt CIA spying illegally on the Senate, remember they've repeatedly done such things to Gitmo lawyers.
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @RonWyden: .@CIA broke into Senate computer files. Then tried to have Senate staff prosecuted. Absolutely unacceptable in a democracy.
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @nakashimae: Msft: We will appeal promptly and cont to advocate that people’s email deserves strong privacy protection in the U.S. & aro…
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @froomkin I was already working on a post on how silly David Cole's claim COngress can control the IC was. Does that count?
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @nakashimae: Judge in SDNY just ruled: Microsoft must comply with U.S. search warrant to turn over emails held in Ireland
11mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Kudos to @MarkUdall for calling Brennan out, bc CIA was already prolly going to go after him over torture to try to flip the Senate.
12mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Does Andy Card have corollary to his "you don't introduce new product in August" that goes, "But CIA does get absolved for multiple crimes"?
14mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @matthewstoller I'm pretty sure he didn't kill Kennedy. So no.
17mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Ho ho ho! Bah ha ha! John Brennan put Evan Bayh in charge of internal accountability. Bwa ha ha ha ha. http://t.co/7yRltvHt1U
31mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @michaelroston: The CIA is sorry for snooping on Senate staffers tasked with investigating the CIA http://t.co/OoQYn2WxpH
1hreplyretweetfavorite
February 2012
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829