It’s a circle jerk that will accomplish nothing, other than generate some big numbers in an ad damnum clause and sweeten the resumes of the US Attorneys that “work” on the “case”. The banks and the government are at this point the same entity, for all intents and purposes. They “litigate” “against” each other for fun and mutual benefit. The government gets to pretend it is “doing something”. The banks may have to cough up an illusory $50 billion, but they get an illusory $12 trillion on the back end.
If any money changes hands at the end of the day, it will only be from the right hand to the left hand of the same guy.
But the NY Times is all atwitter over it.
Norm Pattis was noting the same phenomenon in a different context just the other day:
Comes now the Justice Department promising hope. All I hear is whistling into the wind. I still trust juries. I can’t summon the same confidence in federal officials. It feels wrong, un-American even.
We’ve been doing a lot of re-defining of that venerable term, “un-American”, in the last few decades. A lot of people might say it’s been inverted.
Update: Washington Post hypes it too, of course. After all, WP is the feds’ unofficial house organ.
Seriously, it is about the most meaningless, stupid waste of time and money they could possibly come up with: the appalling lack of depth, the tedious and unimaginative orthodoxy in the face of the genuine human tragedy that this “financial crisis” is.
This is the answer from our “best” lawyers, the ones who graduated at the top of their class at the most prestigious schools and who have probably never represented single human being.
I’ll say it again. It’s not really a financial crisis. It’s a rule of law crisis. And it’s going on across the board.
You don’t need to read the NY Times or the Washington Post to understand what is happening. You don’t need to go to law school. You just need to refresh your grade school recollection of Dickens, the great pulp novelist of his day.