In the wake of the recent revelations provided by Bloomberg News on the secretly loaned $1.3T by the Fed to the banks, as explained in this diary, it is worthwhile to go back to President Obama's Press Conference from earlier this year, October, when he was asked about holding banksters accountable.
He was asked by Jake Tapper:
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Just to follow up on Jackie’s question -- one of the reasons why so many of the people of the Occupy Wall Street protests are so angry is because, as you say, so many people on Wall Street did not follow the rules, but your administration hasn’t really been very aggressive in prosecuting. In fact, I don’t think any Wall Street executives have gone to jail despite the rampant corruption and malfeasance that did take place. So I was wondering if you’d comment on that.
The President replied that prosecutions would be problematic because much of what Wall Street did, while immoral, was not necessarily illegal.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first on the issue of prosecutions on Wall Street, one of the biggest problems about the collapse of Lehmans and the subsequent financial crisis and the whole subprime lending fiasco is that a lot of that stuff wasn’t necessarily illegal, it was just immoral or inappropriate or reckless. That’s exactly why we needed to pass Dodd-Frank, to prohibit some of these practices.
The financial sector is very creative and they are always looking for ways to make money. That’s their job. And if there are loopholes and rules that can be bent and arbitrage to be had, they will take advantage of it. So without commenting on particular prosecutions -- obviously that’s not my job; that’s the Attorney General’s job -- I think part of people’s frustrations, part of my frustration, was a lot of practices that should not have been allowed weren’t necessarily against the law, but they had a huge destructive impact. And that’s why it was important for us to put in place financial rules that protect the American people from reckless decision-making and irresponsible behavior.
This may be the most disingenuous answer I've ever heard President Obama give to a question. Why should immoral acts preclude prosecution of simultaneously committed illegal ones? Oh, and it's not his job, but that of his appointed Attorney General.
In the wake of the revelations provided by the documents unearthed by Bloomberg's FOIA, it will be interesting to hear President Obama's next response.