The Obama Administration has once again gone easy on Wall Street, despite the protests that continue to escalate.
This time, the object of Obama’s lack of desire was Citigroup, which had swindled people into buying some mortgage-related investments from Citigroup, which the bank then bet against, and the investments went bust.
The SEC filed a civil suit against Citigroup, and just settled that suit for a measly $285 million.
That’s a pittance for Citigroup, which earned ten times that in profits in the last quarter alone, according to the New York Times.
This is the same Citigroup, remember, that got $45 billion in bailout money, along with a $220 billion backstop from the Fed for any losses it incurred—get this—on its mortgage-backed investments.
With the SEC settlement, Citigroup didn’t have to admit any “intentional or reckless” misconduct, much less criminal activity.
Wow. Talk about getting off easy!
The SEC shouldn’t have been the one going after Citigroup in the first place in a civil prosecution. It should have been the Justice Department, going after Citi in a criminal prosecution.
This sordid tale just proves how soft Obama has gone on the banks. Originally, he wanted to dissolve Citigroup, according to Ron Susskind’s new book. But Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner refused to implement that decision and Obama let it go.
Later, when Obama met with the bankers in the Oval Office, he told them, “I want to help” you.
And that’s been the problem ever since.