A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from January 13, 2013
“Too big to prosecute”

The philosophy of “too big to prosecute” means that some organizations are too important to the economy to completely dismantle. Although “too big to prosecute” has been cited in print infrequently since at least the 1990s, the term became popular in December 2012, when HSBC was assessed a $1.9 billion penalty for money laundering. The Department of Justice stated that HSBC was guilty of the crimes, but that there would be no criminal prosecutions because the bank was—as paraphrased in the press—“too big to prosecute.”
Similar phrases include “too big to fail” (TBTF), “too big to jail,” “too big to comply” and “too small to bail.”
Google Books
Volume 153, Issues 1-7
Pg. 11:
So now we have huge banks like Citibank that are not only too big to fail but also too big to prosecute. If the facts warrant it, a bank should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and if the result is the loss of its license, so be it.
New York (NY) Post
New York Post - New York, N.Y.
Author: John Crudele
Date: Oct 29, 2002
Start Page: 038
Section: Business
Common Dreams
Published on Thursday, December 18, 2008 by CommonDreams.org
Prosecuting Bush and Cheney for Torture: No One Can Be Above the Law
by Dave Lindorff
This is taking the “too big to fail” argument that is being used to justify the bailout of failed enterprises like AIG, Citicorp, JP Morgan/Chase, and soon GMC and Chrysler, and turning it into “too big to prosecute” in the case of politicians.
Too Big to Prosecute?
Author: Mark Thoma ·  May 5th, 2009
John Ashcroft says hang ‘em high, but only if it doesn’t cost us jobs: ...
Taipei Times
Tue, Mar 01, 2011 - Page 9
In the US, ‘too big to fail’ has become ‘too big to prosecute’
By Joe Nocera /  NY Times News Service, NEW YORK
So much for Angelo Mozilo taking the fall for the financial crisis.
Tampa Bay Times (FL)
Outclassed feds should worry about Wall Street’s Too Big to Prosecute
By Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist
In Print: Wednesday, December 14, 2011
All this time, we had it wrong.
While the country gnashes its teeth over giant financial institutions being TBTF — Too Big to Fail — we should really focus on those that are TBTP.
Too Big to Prosecute.

It’s a frequent question I get from readers: Why haven’t more people gone to jail for causing the crisis on Wall Street?
ABC News
HSBC: Too Big To Prosecute?
By BRIAN ROSS (@brianross) , MATTHEW MOSK (@mattmosk) and CARLOS BOETTCHER (@felixcarlos11)
Dec. 11, 2012
Europe’s largest bank will avoid a potentially crippling criminal prosecution for its role in moving cash for known terror groups, Mexican drug cartels, and rogue governments such as Iran, instead agreeing to pay a record $2 billion settlement, U.S. Justice Department officials announced at a press conference today.
Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, disputed suggestions that the bank was “too big to be prosecuted,” but did not dispute the idea that the Justice Department was looking for ways to penalize the bank without compromising the jobs and beneficial economic activity that the massive bank supports.
“Our goal here is not to bring HSBC down,” said Breuer.“I wouldn’t say it’s too big to prosecute. I’m not going to say that. ... I don’t think the bank thinks it got off easy.”
Threading the Pearls
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
DOJ Declares HSBC Too Big To Prosecute
2012 may well be remembered in times to come as the year of the financial scandals. Not that scandals in the finance industry are anything new, but this year seems to have seen a greater number of scandals, and of larger scope, than anything that has come before. It is now clear that fraud and manipulation are widespread in the finance industry, even more so than many cynics, myself included, had previously believed.
TYWKIWDBI (“Things You Wouldn’t Know If We Didn’t Blog Intermittently”)
28 December 2012
“Too big to prosecute”
Remember “too big to fail.”  Here’s what comes next…
But not HSBC. On Tuesday, not only did the US Justice Department announce that HSBC would not be criminally prosecuted, but outright claimed that the reason is that they are too important, too instrumental to subject them to such disruptions. In other words, shielding them from the system of criminal sanction to which the rest of us are subject is not for their good, but for our common good. We should not be angry, but grateful, for the extraordinary gift bestowed on the global banking giant: ...

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Sunday, January 13, 2013 • Permalink

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