By William K. Black
This is the way the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) greatest strategic prosecutorial failure ends, not with a bang but a whimper that it is too hard to prosecute “rocket science” frauds. The context is the ritual Bloomberg exit interview with the senior DOJ official going off to make his new fortune. The lucky fellow this week is Deputy Attorney General James Cole. This genre of interview is designed to allow the man in the revolving door to announce his great accomplishments as a prosecutor, or in this case, non-prosecutor. Cole gamely claims that zero prosecutions constitutes a brilliant success because DOJ’s civil cases “have resulted in banks paying huge fines and altering their behavior.”
“Holder today praised Cole as his ‘indispensable partner’ since taking the deputy’s job in January 2011. ‘Jim’s leadership and ingenuity have been critical in attaining historic results on behalf of the American people,’ Holder said in a statement.”
By William K. Black
Paul Krugman’s admirers would never list modesty as one of his characteristics. He has written a column “In Defense of Obama” that begins by explaining that his criticisms of President Obama were correct, but that unidentified others’ criticisms of Obama constitute “trash talk.”
Specifically, Obama “came perilously close to doing terrible things to the U.S. safety net in pursuit of a budget Grand Bargain.” Obama sought to produce a self-inflicted disaster by desperately trying to reach a “Grand Bargain” with Republicans that would have inflicted austerity on our Nation in 2012, “slash[ed] Social Security and [raised] the Medicare [eligibility] age.” As even Krugman admits, we were saved from this catastrophe “only by Republican greed, the GOP’s unwillingness to make even token concessions” to achieve the Grand Bargain. What Krugman omits in the tale is that it was also a revolt by Democratic progressives against the Grand Bargain that saved Obama and the Nation.