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We talk about this here all the time have big banks become too big to bail or too big to jail.
The Fed's continually enter into civil or criminal settlements with the nation's largest banks which mostly include slap on the wrist fines but the big question tonight.
Why isn't anybody being sent to jail today have.
-- get out of jail free card Republican senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee joins me now.
Senator thanks for being on the show again it's always great to see you I think you've got a lot of attention this week for a conversation that you had with attorney general holder.
On this very issue.
And I want to hear -- I what are viewers to your precisely what he said.
Here's the attorney general.
I am concerned that.
The size of some of these institutions.
Becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to.
To prosecute them.
When we are hit with.
Indications that if you do prosecute if you do bringing criminal charge.
We 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.
-- note to hold -- the administration disagrees with steel.
I have but I have to ask you senator are the banks simply too big -- the major ones the five or six that do business with so many Americans in this country.
Well then doesn't that bring a whole other issue of their two big good it is that you can't govern them you can't that punish them you can't discipline them.
Maybe that's an issue we've got to be aware -- but that's not the immediate concern in the immediate concern is number one they said they relied on experts.
Senator brown I -- -- know who these experts are we want to know the basis for their judgment that maybe you can't.
I get him for criminal activity but then you've got the other thing.
You know isn't a crime in America.
That you can be a CEO of a company as opposed to a customer -- the bank and violate the law and can't be punished more.
And so you get too big to jail in that instance.
-- This senator I could -- it -- the -- -- attorney general was saying.
Moving to jail -- CEO as you described would jeopardize the financial system and I think everybody has in the back of their mind.
What happened are Terry Anderson.
After Enron that company went down in flames.
If the large bank were to go down in flames it would take the entire economy with it.
What is the solution to that problem what do we do -- that that seems unacceptable to so many Americans especially since we bailed them out.
Well first of all.
You're always senator brown I want some information on the basis for this judgment.
The -- -- order previously said if they're too big in that instance and maybe something needs to be done about that.
But some of these banks were involved in money -- -- laundering.
Of terrorists' money and Gardner.
That this is pretty heavy stuff that if you're involved in those operations.
And I and you know all about it we are -- know who who -- -- made that these Asian that we were going to.
Do that and and if we if you can't enforce laws against money laundering.
It's pretty bad in this country we got to get over that we gotta get to a situation where you violate laws like that you can be partly.
So -- that one of the companies are talking about here HSBC.
Faced a money laundering fine of one point 92 billion dollars it was a record.
But it was only 11% of their profits from last year as a comparison -- -- a little.
Rule mark after that.
You know it is it wasn't.
That painful I suppose you think more should be done.
But I mean seriously how do we get around this problem of these big banks what is the solution to that if your own top cop in the nation the attorney general is saying.
I cannot hold these people -- justice because there are fears that it would bring down the entire financial system in this country.
What do you hill.
Well I we miss that opportunity and Dodd-Frank.
I didn't vote for Dodd-Frank.
But that was supposed to take care too big to fail and you end up with a bill that really -- you know you aren't too big to fail.
And that the -- -- stand behind it and that's sort of -- a jeopardy.
This is a problem in and of itself.
-- Tim Geithner said that the government will have the authority to close large failing firms under Dodd-Frank.
Didn't happen did it.
You -- -- kept from from failing before Dodd-Frank so who knows what's going to happen after work.
-- senator thanks for coming on the show tonight appreciate your help on this very tough issue I -- a lot of Americans care deeply about this thank you so much.
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