Resigning Attorney General Eric Holder has come forward to clarify what happened with a banking executive who recently spent a night in jail anyway, despite being "too big to jail."
This executive (who must remain anonymous, according to Mr. Holder) is also famous for having received a 15 million dollar raise last year following his bank's paying out billions in fines for fraudulent practices during the past decade.
These practices had contributed to the US financial breakdown in 2008 and thereabouts.
Mr. Holder explained that the banking industry employs many thousands of workers plus has business dealings all over the world.
These dealings should not be threatened with criminal action due to possible economic downturn.
Hence executives of these banking industries, even though they deliberately sanctioned weak or false loans and knew the dangers of their failing, must be excused.
Additionally, they should be given raises where possible for their valiant service thwarting criminal charges.
But over the weekend this same executive with the big raise was standing in front of his house at 1:00 a.m. looking ordinary in a pair of jeans, when a New York policeman arrested him for "blocking the sidewalk."
Mr. Holder explained the officer had mistaken this executive's identity in that his banking credentials had not been obvious, and the officer was annoyed with the expression on his face when questioned.
He was assumed to be of a lower economic order leading to the charge of "blocking the sidewalk" even though he and the officer were the only persons on the sidewalk at the time.
Hence to the patrol wagon and downtown behind bars for a period of some hours until lawyers could step forth to gain his release, at which point Mr. Holder also weighed in.
According to Mr. Holder, such individuals as this are the buttressing elements of the American economic system. Any criminalizing of them has dollar effects in the negative.
Money after all, no matter how it is made, is the primary value in the financial districts of New York and the American System in general, and must be protected.
This includes the executives who rule it.
But this incident of mistaken identity on the sidewalk does not indicate a "double standard," and there is absolutely nothing hypocritical about it.
The executive did serve a few hours behind bars, which he enjoys joking about at company dinners, and there is nothing pleasant about being thrust into jail unreasonably.
On the other hand he might have served five years for overseeing fraud, with far-ranging consequences, instead of receiving millions in bonus.
It was much the wiser course to refrain from holding such executives at major American banking companies responsible, and to lay the cost of their behavior at the feet of the taxpayers.
Mr. Holder hopes he has cleared up this situation and can look forward to more work as a lawyer serving the banking community after he leaves office.