Monday, July 24, 2017

Jesse Eisinger

Jesse Eisinger is a senior reporter and editor at ProPublica, and the author of The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives. From his Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross:

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. And if you're just joining us, my guest is Pulitzer-Prize-winning business reporter Jesse Eisinger, who's a senior reporter and editor with ProPublica and author of the new book "The Chickens Club: Why The Justice Department Fails To Prosecute Executives." And the book tries to answer the question, why were no executives punished with the exception of one after the financial meltdown of 2008?

So when you ask the question, why weren't more individuals prosecuted, you know, after the financial meltdown, I expected the answer to be, well, there was this word that came down, like, protect the banks or, you know - that's not what you found. It's not...


GROSS: Yeah, you found that - I mean the big picture I think is that you found that the Department of Justice lost a lot of prosecutorial tools that it used to have.

EISINGER: Yeah. The Department of Justice suffers a series of fiascos, losses. And they lose tools and there are bad rulings from the courts. And that ends up depriving the prosecutors of tools to prosecute these individuals. And they lose that focus and end up settling on corporations. So yes, it wasn't Tim Geithner, the treasury secretary, calling up Eric Holder and saying, lay off the banks. It was a kind of slow evolution.

GROSS: What's an example of a tool that you think could have been used to good effect after the financial meltdown that the Justice Department no longer was able to use?

EISINGER: Well, prosecutors used to be able to say to companies, if you want to claim that you're cooperating with our investigations, then you have to...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue