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March 26, 2013

Holder: Banks May Be Too Large to Prosecute

Here’s an unexpected addition to the long list of people who say large banks may be too large to prosecute: Attorney General Eric Holder.

In recent weeks, critics have amped up a longstanding criticism of the government’s  response to the financial crisis. They argue that regulators and prosecutors were too shy about pursuing criminal cases against banks.

Mr. Holder defended his agency’s track record in testimony Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. But he conceded that the economic impact of a conviction could be so significant that cases are difficult to pursue.

“I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them,” Mr. Holder told lawmakers. Prosecutors, he said, must confront the problem that “if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy. And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large.”

Mr. Holder, however defended his agency.  Federal prosecutors, he said, have been “as aggressive as they could be, brought cases where we think we could have brought them,” he said.”

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Read full Wall Street Journal article here

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