Are Banks Too Big to Prosecute?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Barclays Bank Fined Over Libor Investigations (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

How does the government prosecute an institution that’s too powerful to prosecute? The Libor scandal, which involved manipulating the London interbank offered rate, is a criminal offence, but is a bank like Barclays just too big to indict?

The Justice Department is said to be preparing cases against financial institutions. In a report by The New York Times this weekend, an anonymous official said authorities could charge at least one bank in the coming months. 

But Barclays has signed a non-prosecution agreement and is paying a penalty of $450 million — not much for a company with over $50 billion in revenue last year. 

Peter J. Henning, professor at Wayne State University Law School, focuses on white collar crime, corporate and securities law and legal ethics.


Peter Henning

Produced by:

Paul R. Smith

Comments [1]


That same Justice Department held in Contempt of Congress and then tasked with investigating themselves is not much of a penalty either, is it?
How is a non-prosecution agreement like an Executive Privilege decree?

Jul. 16 2012 11:14 AM

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