I have been highlighting the unequal treatment meted out by the Obama administration’s justice department, where extremely harsh treatment is given to low-level criminals and whistleblowers and hackers while those who commit massive damage to the financial system that cause immense hardship t many, and even acknowledge major wrongdoing, are given slaps on the wrist. It is telling that as yet, not a single high-level official in the financial sector has gone to jail, or even faced the threat of jail, for their actions.
The Colbert Report took a look at this question in two-segments, the first one dealing with the recent case of the mega-bank HSBC where the government essentially said that they were giving immunity to the people in the bank because to charge high officials with a crime and put them in jail would dangerously destabilize the financial system because the bank was too large. This is an extraordinary thing to say. We have now gone from an unofficial two-tier legal system to one that openly admits that it treats rich people and institutions far more leniently that the rest of us. The right thing to do with a bank that is ‘too large’ is not to officially grant them immunity (which will just encourage further wrongdoing) but to make them smaller.
In the second part, Stephen Colbert interviews Matt Taibbi.
(This clip was aired on January 16, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)