How does the government prosecute an institution that’s too powerful to prosecute? The Libor scandal, which involved manipulating the London interbank offered rate, is a criminal offence, but is a bank like Barclays just too big to indict?
The Justice Department is said to be preparing cases against financial institutions. In a report by The New York Times this weekend, an anonymous official said authorities could charge at least one bank in the coming months.
But Barclays has signed a non-prosecution agreement and is paying a penalty of $450 million — not much for a company with over $50 billion in revenue last year.
Peter J. Henning, professor at Wayne State University Law School, focuses on white collar crime, corporate and securities law and legal ethics.