America’s Top Prosecutors Used to Go After Top Executives. What Changed?

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Photo: Department of Justice
Media Outlet: The New York Times

James Kwak reviewed Jesse Eisinger's new book, The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives, for the New York Times:

Why was virtually no one prosecuted for causing the 2008 financial crisis, which devastated the global economy and cost the United States almost nine million jobs? Some people think the fix is in: Bankers control the government, so they can get away with anything. Others claim that the banks did nothing wrong to begin with — or, alternatively, that there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone in particular committed a crime. In this new book, the ProPublica reporter Jesse Eisinger tells a different story: Since the turn of the century, changes in the political landscape, the defense bar, the courts and most important the Justice Department have undermined both the ability and the resolve of America’s top prosecutors to go after corporations or their executives.

In the News:

Jesse Eisinger was a Class of 2016 & 2017 New America Fellow, and is the author of The Chickenshit Club—an inside reference to prosecutors who were too scared of failure and too daunted by legal impediments to do their jobs. He is a senior reporter at ProPublica and writes a regular column for the New York Times’ Dealbook section.