Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It Wasn't Illegal?

On 11 December, President Obama was interviewed on 60 Minutes.  The transcript is here.  The interview is pretty much what you'd expect.  Then, about three-fourths of the way through, comes this:

I can tell you, just from 40,000 feet, that some of the most damaging behavior on Wall Street, in some cases, some of the least ethical behavior on Wall Street, wasn't illegal.
Excuse me?

First, it must be nice to deal with US news media, which consist almost entirely of ignorant tyros who do what they're told.  Steve Kroft swallowed that comment and just kept pitching softballs.  A BBC interviewer would have gone straight at that comment and pointedly asked the President just what in Hell he was talking about.

Second, loan fraud is illegal, and we've had well over 31 flavors of it in this mess, with new ones cooked up by B of A, Chase, and RBS every day.  Securities fraud is illegal, including stuffing investment instruments with cherry-picked, bogus "assets" and then betting against them (I'm looking at you, GoldSacks.).

Mr. President, as a former prosecutor I can tell you that, just because your boys aren't pressing charges, all this garbage has suddenly been washed clean.  And yes, Mr. President, the DOJ folks are your boys, however much you may want to hide behind prosecutorial independence.  You picked Holder, you picked the US Attorneys.  Their decisions are your decisions.  Own them.

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