U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s early March concession that the banking executives who contributed to the nation’s banking collapse are “to big to jail” has brought protests from around the country.
Holder, in March 6 testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, said going after leaders of the big banks for illegal activity related to the banking crisis of the last decade could cause immense problems for the banks and thus the nation’s economy.
More than 300,000 people have signed petitions hosted by MoveOn’s online petition platform SignOn.org, CREDO Action, Home Defenders League, Campaign for a Fair Settlement, CourageCampaign.org and Campaign for American’s Future demanding the Obama Administration repudiate Holder’s assertion.
Brian Kettenring, coordinator of the Campaign for a Fair Settlement, created the SignOn.org petition. The Campaign for a Fair Settlement has been pushing hard during the first 100 days of President Obama’s second term for accountability for what the group says are the Wall Street criminals who, “stole our homes, savings, and pensions and destroyed our economy.”
More than 141,000 people have signed onto that petition alone, the group says.
Another 153,000 people have signed CREDO’s petition telling Eric Holder to resign if he won’t prosecute criminal bankers.
“More than a quarter million Americans have come together to declare that no one should be above the law – and especially not the Wall Street bankers who crashed the economy,” Kettenring said . “Activists across the country are demanding accountability from the nation’s largest financial institutions that were bailed out using trillions of taxpayer dollars.”
Added Kettenring. “They’re calling on President Obama to demand justice for the millions of homeowners harmed by the big banks’ criminal activities, and on Attorney General Holder to either do his job or step down.”
The top cops at the Justice Department have simply refused to hold banks accountable for criminal behavior, said Becky Bond, political director for CREDO. “And now Attorney General Holder has actually come out and admitted that in his opinion the banks are simply too big to jail. If he won’t prosecute, he should resign.”
Holder said in his testimony that going after the big banks would create more problems than it solves. “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if we do prosecute — if we do bring a criminal charge — it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy,” Holder said. “I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large.”