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Wednesday, 24 September 2014 08:11

Eric Holder Basically Tells Wall Street to Beware of Moles, Really

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aholdermoleUS Department of Education

The website Wall Street on Parade has been tenacious in uncovering misdeeds in the nation's financial capital, as well as various levels of government that enable the malfeasance. On September 23, it reported on an intriguing speech by Attorney General Eric Holder in an article entitled, "Eric Holder Says Justice Department Has Moles on Wall Street":

Avoiding detection as a mole becomes so much more challenging when the highest law enforcement officer in the land, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, comes to New York to address Wall Street’s lawyers and tells them, flat out, that he’s got moles stationed inside his Wall Street targets. (There were likely 100,000 text messages flying about Wall Street before Holder got to the next paragraph of his speech.)

The revelation by Holder came on September 17, not in off the cuff remarks, but in a carefully prepared speech delivered at NYU School of Law in Manhattan.

Wall Street on Parade points out that the moles are called "undercover cooperators" by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

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No doubt Holder's on the record objective in his speech was to warn Wall Street that they were being watched from the inside by an army of informers – and that this might dissuade them from wrongdoing. However, a more cynical perspective would posit that the attorney general was giving notice to Wall Street financial firms to be more careful about disclosing their legally questionable behavior to too many staffers - and alerting them not to leave any paper trails that indicate intent to commit illegal acts.

In short, as the World War II warning to individuals with secret information admonished, "Loose lips sink ships."

If you follow this theory, Holder is basically sending a flare up to Wall Street that might be represented in an imaginary statement such as, "It's not that I'm disclosing any secrets here, but in case you or your staffs were going to talk about any criminal financial activity, I just want to make sure that you know that we have moles wandering around who report back to us. And if you are planning something really big - like 2008 all over again - we might have to do something about it if a mole told us, so limit those in the know.”

BuzzFlash at Truthout has relentlessly disclosed the Department of Justice's ongoing refusal to hold any high-ranking individual on Wall Street accountable for misdeeds, particularly the near implosion of the US economy in 2008. Wall Street on Parade even notes, "He [the attorney general] came right out and acknowledged that those jaded ways of Wall Street that collapsed the financial system six years ago are back. 'We are already witnessing a troubling return to some of the very same profit-driven risk-taking that contributed to the 2008 collapse,' said Holder."

To be fair, Holder talked about increasing awards to Wall Street whistleblowers, which would be a fine thing. There are two major problems, however: 1) the current Congress won't pass any increase in whistleblower compensation; 2) and the current whistleblower compensation program (which rewards a hefty sum) has not compelled the Department of Justice to pursue personal criminal charges against any of the Wall Street financial masters of the universe.

Furthermore, the large fines the DOJ has levied on many banks, as BuzzFlash has pointed out, are just the cost of doing illicit business to them. In addition, the Department of Justice has required very little in the way of systemic change on Wall Street, which is why Holder - ironically - admits that the nation is experiencing a "troubling return" to the practices that led to the 2008 economic breakdown. 

Why isn't Holder held accountable for warning Wall Street of potential informers, and therefore, by implication, alerting financial firms to take more secure measures not to get caught?

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