Are Banks Too Big to Prosecute?

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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.