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April 1, 2013

Money-Laundering Banks Still Get a Pass From U.S.

“Money laundering by large international banks has reached epidemic proportions, and U.S. authorities are supposedly looking into Citigroup Inc. (C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“Governor Jerome Powell, on behalf of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, recently testified to Congress on the issue, and he sounded serious. But international criminals and terrorists needn’t worry. This is window dressing: Complicit bankers have nothing to fear from the U.S. justice system.

“To be on the safe side, though, miscreants should be sure to use a really large global bank for all their money-laundering needs.

“There may be fines, but the largest financial companies are unlikely to face criminal actions or meaningful sanctions. The Department of Justice has decided that these banks are too big to prosecute to the full extent of the law, though why this also gets employees and executives off the hook remains a mystery. And the Federal Reserve refuses to rescind bank licenses, undermining the credibility, legitimacy and stability of the financial system.”

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Read Simon Johnson’s full Bloomberg View post here

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