The influential judge from the Southern District of New York spoke about the flawed rationale for non-prosecution of offences related to the Global Economic Crisis. Judge Rakoff explained, as far as he is aware, the Department of Justice in the US has taken the position that no crime was committed in connection with the events leading up to the financial crisis. Their public position is that they could not indict for three reasons, some of which may be familar to the Irish case.
The first claim is that they cannot prove knowledge and intent at a senior management level. The second reason that the DoJ has given is that there were no immediate victims, in the sense that the purchasers of the sub-prime securities were themselves sophisticated investors. The third argument offered by the DOJ is that the institutions themselves are too big to fail and criminal actions would undermine confidence in a very uncertain financial market.
A podcast of his speech can be found at the CLMR website.
Nathan Lynch of Thomson Reuters, Of Crimes and Crises: Prosecutorial Imperatives and Political Conflicts, report of Judge Rakoff’s speech.