Obama's legacy: eight years of not holding executives criminally responsible for their companies' misdeeds


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/11/obamas-legacy-eight-years-o.html


In the light of a Donald Trump presidency and a cabinet filled with his billionaire friends, I find it highly disingenuous to criticize Obama for being too nice to corporate criminals. If you think Jeff Sessions will start locking up CEOs, then perhaps you also believe Mexico is gonna buy Trump a wall.





Well VW isn’t a bank. Their core business is turning steel into cars, rather than pushing money around like a three card monte dealer to steal it from us. And that is why he might be going to jail while the Wall Street and City bankers are still cashing their bonus checks.


Aww, man. Can’t you just let me enjoy these last few days of reminiscing about all the great Obama moments without making me think about all the not-so-great Obama moments? Next you’re going to spoil it even further by mentioning drone strikes or the continuation of Bush-era overreach into our privacy.

I mean c’mon, Jerry Seinfeld knocked on the Oval Office window! That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!

I’m mostly happy with his 8 years I guess but yeah, I think the next 4 (assuming Trump lasts that long) are going to make us quickly forget that Obama was far from perfect.


You do realize that we can both criticism President Obama and President elect Trump… and that BB has in fact been doing both?


Don’t worry! President Trump is going to drain the swamp!


By filling it up with alligators to the point where all the swamp water has been displaced!


“Gator the swamp”?


Russia has a swamp?


Erm… sort of. It was my understanding that the majority of the profit for car companies was actually derived from their financial arms. People leasing or buying on payment plans or whatnot- that the cars, themselves, actually generate a relatively small amount of profit.
So you could say, in that case, that they build cars for the purpose of providing loans to buy those cars.


I do realize that. However, it’s laughable to suggest that a Trump administration will be tougher on corporate criminals than the Obama administration.


I agree… But where was that suggested?


Tu quoque immediately invalidates your objection.


You may be right. But then if, during the Trump administration, they manage to bring charges against 2 corporate criminals, then they will have prosecuted corporate criminals at a rate 200% higher than Obama.


And if they prosecute even a single banker, it’ll be a rate infinity% higher than Obama.


Yes, both literally and figuratively. You DO know how large Russia is, right?


The Obama administration has prosecuted two thirds of a corporate criminal?


Eric Holder has it exactly backwards. Removing a handful of executives from a company, even very senior level executives, rarely does much long-term damage (unless the whole company is basically a fraud, like Enron). Individual executives are rarely irreplaceable, no matter what the executives and the board may think.

Huge fines, on the other hand, take money directly from the shareholders (who generally did not make the decision to break the law) and leave the people who are directly responsible completely untouched.