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Credit Suisse admits guilt, but Wall Street's 'too big to prosecute' issue lingers

Pras Subramanian

And the hits keep on coming. Credit Suisse (CS) became the first major bank in more than two decades to plead guilty to criminal wrongdoing, admitting to conspiring to aid U.S. based clients in a tax evasion in a scheme. As punishment the bank will pay $2.6 billion to various agencies and hire an independent monitor; however, the bank will not have to disclose the identities of the clients it helped evade these taxes.

The federal government is trumpeting this as a sign that no bank is "too big to prosecute," but has anything changed? As Jeff Macke points out in the attached video, $2.6 billion to Credit Suisse is just a slap on the wrist, or “chump change.”

“Not much as changed,” Yahoo Finance columnist Mike Santoli opines from a “too big to prosecute” perspective. “The political sensibilities have changed here when it comes to exactly what’s an acceptable settlement,” but that’s about it from Santoli’s viewpoint.

As for the bank’s future activities, Santoli predicts banks are going to “extra, extra careful” when marketing tax shelters because the federal government appears to focusing more on these types of activities.

While it is admirable the government is cracking down on this illegal behavior, Santoli is quick to note these recent prosecutions have nothing to do with the financial crisis five years ago, and ultimately this is really what Main Street would like to see.

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