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Holder: No Such Thing As “Too Big To Jail”

In reference to charges that federal prosecutors are bring against two European banks, Attorney General Eric Holder said publicly Monday that no company is “too big to jail.” Federal authorities are investigating BNP Paribas for allegedly processing transactions that violate U.S. sanctions and Credit Suisse for allegedly helping American citizens evade taxes.

There is some speculation that Credit Suisse, either the parent company or the U.S. subsidiary may plead guilty within the next few weeks, report the Financial Times.  Holder has recently met with the Swiss Finance minister on the matter, and prosecutors are working with federal regulators to ensure that a guilty plea will not result in the automatic revocation of the bank’s U.S. charter.

“This co-operation will prove key in the coming weeks and months as the justice department continues to pursue several important investigations. While I will not specify any particular targets, I will say this: I am personally monitoring the status of these ongoing investigations, I am resolved to seeing them through,” Mr. Holder said.

DoJ officials have struggled in recent years to bring charges against large institutions, for fear of the economic unrest that often follows such indictments and prosecutions. Holder famously told a congressional committee in early 2013 that some banks were “too large to prosecute,” for fear of the economic chaos that follows such prosecutions.

“(The size of banks) has an inhibiting influence – impact on our ability to bring resolutions that I think would be more appropriate,” Mr. Holder told lawmakers, reports the Financial Times. “And I think that is something that we – you all – need to consider.”

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