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The Chicken Shit Club

Ever wonder why no bankers went to jail after the 2008 financial crisis? Investigative journalist, Jesse Eisinger, tells us why in his book, “The Chicken Shit Club.”

Jesse Eisinger is an award winning senior reporter and editor at ProPublica.  He and a colleague won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for a series of stories on the questionable Wall Street practices that helped make the financial crisis the worst since the Great Depression.  The book we’re going to be discussing today is his latest, “The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives.”

“What has replaced prosecuting individual executives… are these negotiated settlements… The corporation writes a check.  And a piece of paper is put in a drawer… and the prosecutors say, ‘Well, we could prosecute you, but we’re not going to for now.  And we want to watch you to see if you behave yourself.’  My argument is that this has replaced the prosecutions of individuals, and that this fundamentally does not work.  It is a regime that is broken.  And the reason we know it doesn’t work is that we see corporations breaking rules repeatedly and getting sanctioned and then breaking them again.  JP Morgan, Pfizer, BP, these companies, many other companies are recidivists.  They have broken rules and been accused of crimes and sometimes pled guilty to crimes – over and over again – and still commit wrongdoing.  So, this is a regime that just does not work.” Jesse Eisinger, author of The Chicken Shit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives.

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