EITHER the Federal Government needs to FOLLOW and ENFORCE its own laws, or it needs honestly to abandon and seek through the democratic process to rewrite those laws. Recent and current wild variations in “prosecutorial discretion” create a lack of predictability in enforcement of laws against Banks and other Financial Institutions, aka “Wall Street” (broadly defined). This unpredictability, in turn, leads to the impression that the Government jails those who do not support its agenda fully or sufficiently, and lets those who do run “hog wild” (in the vernacular slang of Dixie and Texas, which seems particularly appropriate when speaking of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve system. A government which only arbitrarily and capriciously enforces its laws is a government of no “law” whatsoever.
WASHINGTON — It used to be common for the federal government to prosecute prominent people responsible for debacles that rattled the financial system. Michael R. Milken, the junk bond artist, went to prison in 1991; Charles H. Keating Jr., the face of the savings-and-loan crisis, pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud in 1999; and it looks like Jeffrey K. Skilling, the former chief executive of Enron, will be in prison until 2017.
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