You are on page 1of 14

SV

AC v 1.0
FWK
Debate should focus on material conditions of oppression—anything
else is n move towards abstraction that shuts down important
conversations.
Curry 14 Dr. Tommy J, Professor of Philosophy, Affiliated Professor of Africana Studies, and a
Fellow at Texas A&M University; first Black JV National Debate champion (for UMKC) and was
half of the first all Black CEDA team to win the Pi Kappa Delta National Debate Tournament.
“The Cost of a Thing: A Kingian Reformulation of a Living Wage Argument in the 21st Century.”
2014. IB
Despite the pronouncement of debate as an activity and intellectual exercise pointing to the real world consequences of
when addressing issues of racism, sexism, economic
dialogue, thinking, and (personal) politics
disparity, global conflicts, and death, many of the discussions concerning these
ongoing challenges to humanity are fixed to a paradigm which sees the
adjudication of material disparities and sociological realities as the conquest of one
ideal theory over the other. In “Ideal Theory as Ideology,” Charles Mills outlines the problem
contemporary theoretical-performance styles in policy debate and value-weighing in Lincoln-Douglass are confronted with
in their attempts to get at the concrete problems in our societies. At the outset, Mills concedes that “ideal theory applies
to moral theory as a whole (at least to normative ethics as against metaethics); [s]ince ethics deals by definition with
normative/prescriptive/evaluative issues, [it is set] against factual/descriptive issues.” At the most general level, the
conceptual chasm between what emerges as actual problems in the world (e.g.: racism, sexism,

poverty, disease, etc.) and how we frame such problems theoretically —the
assumptions and shared ideologies we depend upon for our problems to be heard and accepted as a worthy “problem” by
an audience—is
the most obvious call for an anti-ethical paradigm, since
such a paradigm insists on the actual as the basis of what can be
considered normatively. Mills, however, describes this chasm as a problem of an ideal-as-descriptive
model which argues that for any actual-empirical-observable social phenomenon (P), an ideal of (P) is necessarily a
representation of that phenomenon. In the idealization of a social phenomenon (P), one “necessarily has to abstract away
from certain features” of (P) that is observed before abstraction occurs. This gap between what is actual (in the world),
and what is represented by theories and politics of debaters proposed in rounds threatens any real discussions about the
concrete nature of oppression and the racist economic structures which necessitate tangible policies and reorienting
changes in our value orientations. As Mills states: “What distinguishes ideal theory is the reliance on idealization to the
exclusion, or at least marginalization, of the actual,” so what we are seeking to resolve on the basis of “thought” is in fact
incomplete, incorrect, or ultimately irrelevant to the actual problems which our “theories” seek to address. Our attempts
to situate social disparity cannot simply appeal to the ontologization of social phenomenon—meaning we cannot
suggest that the various complexities of social problems (which are constantly
emerging and undisclosed beyond the effects we observe) are totalizable by any one set of

theories within an ideological frame be it our most cherished notions of


Afro-pessimism, feminism, Marxism, or the like. At best, theoretical
endorsements make us aware of sets of actions to address ever developing problems in
our empirical world, but even this awareness does not command us to only do X, but rather do X and the other ideas
debate (policy and LD)
which compliment the material conditions addressed by the action X. As a whole,
neglects the need to do X in order to remedy our cast-away-ness
among our ideological tendencies and politics.’
Thus, the standard is resisting oppression. Prefer additionally—
1] Reductionism: personal identity doesn’t exist.
Olson Eric T. (Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield) “Personal Identity”
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Aug 20, 2002; substantive revision Oct 28, 2010
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-personal/#PsyApp JW
Whatever psychological continuity may amount to, a more serious worry for the Psychological Approach is that you could
If your cerebrum—the upper part of the
be psychologically continuous with two past or future people at once.
brain largely responsible for mental features—were transplanted, the recipient would be
psychologically continuous with you by anyone's lights (even if there would also be important psychological
differences). The Psychological Approach implies that she would be you. If we destroyed one of your cerebral
hemispheres, the resulting being would also be psychologically continuous with you. (Hemispherectomy—even the
removal of the left hemisphere, which controls speech—is considered a drastic but acceptable treatment for otherwise-
inoperable brain tumors: see Rigterink 1980.) What if we did both at once, destroying one hemisphere
and transplanting the other? Then too, the one who got the transplanted hemisphere
would be psychologically continuous with you, and according to the Psychological Approach would be you. But
now suppose that both hemispheres are transplanted, each into a different
empty head. (We needn't pretend, as some authors do, that the hemispheres are exactly alike.) The two
recipients—call them Lefty and Righty—will each be psychologically continuous with you. The Psychological
Approach as I have stated it implies that any future being who is psychologically continuous with you must be you. It
But that cannot be: Lefty and Righty are two, and
follows that you are Lefty and also that you are Righty.
one thing cannot be numerically identical with two things. Suppose Lefty is hungry at a time when
Righty isn't. If you are Lefty, you are hungry at that time. If you are Righty, you aren't. If you are Lefty and Righty, you
are both hungry and not hungry at once: a contradiction.

This means consequentialism – moral theories can’t focus on


individuals since there’s nothing that unifies them across time. Only
states of affairs can have value.

2] Other frameworks collapse to consequentialism—there’s no act-


omission distinction for states.
Sunstein et al 05 [Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule. The University of Chicago Law
School. “Is Capital Punishment Morally Required? The Relevance of Life‐ Life Tradeoffs.” JOHN
M. OLIN LAW & ECONOMICS WORKING PAPER NO. 239. The Chicago Working Paper Series.
March 2005]

both the argument from causation and the argument from intention
In our view,
go wrong by overlooking the distinctive features of government as a moral agent. Whatever
the general status of the act-omission distinction as a matter of moral philosophy,38 the distinction is least impressive
unlike individuals, governments
when applied to government.39 The most fundamental point is that

always and necessarily face a choice between or among possible policies for
regulating third parties. The distinction between acts and omissions may not be intelligible in this context,
and even if it is, the distinction does not make a morally relevant difference. Most generally, government is in the
business of creating permissions and prohibitions. When it explicitly or implicitly

authorizes private action, it is not omitting to do anything, or refusing to act.40


Moreover, the distinction between authorized and unauthorized private
action—for example, private killing—becomes obscure when the government
formally forbids private action, but chooses a set of policy instruments that
do not adequately or fully discourage it.
Adv 1: Cartels
Big banks operate with impunity. They launder billions in drug cartel
money and get away with it for nothing.
Zach Carter, 7-14-2010, "Wall Street Is Laundering Drug Money And Getting Away With It,"
HuffPost, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/zach-carter/megabanks-are-
laundering_b_645885.html
Too-big-to-fail is a much bigger problem than you thought. We’ve all read damning accounts of the government saving banks from their risky subprime bets, but it

Wall Street privilege problem is far more deeply ingrained in the U.S.
turns out that the

legal system than the simple bailouts witnessed in 2008. America’s largest banks can engage in flagrantly criminal activity on a massive scale and
emerge almost completely unscathed. The latest sickening example comes from Wachovia Bank: Accused of

laundering $380 billion in Mexican drug cartel money, the financial


behemoth is expected to emerge with nothing more than a slap on the
wrist thanks to an official government policy which protects megabanks from criminal charges. Bloomberg”s Michael Smith has penned a devastating
expose detailing Wachovia’s drug-money operations and the government’s twisted response. The bank was moving money behind literally tons of cocaine from
violent drug cartels. It wasn’t an accident. Internal whistleblowers at Wachovia warned that the bank was laundering drug money, higher-ups at the bank actively

The bank will


looked the other way in order to score bigger profits, and the U.S. government is about to let everyone involved get off scott free.

not be indicted, because it is official government policy not to


prosecute megabanks. From Smith’s story: No big U.S. bank . . . has ever been indicted for violating the Bank Secrecy Act or any
other federal law. Instead, the Justice Department settles criminal charges by using deferred-prosecution agreements, in which a bank pays a fine and promises
not to break the law again . . . . Large banks are protected from indictments by a variant of the too-big-to-fail theory. Indicting a big bank could trigger a mad
dash by investors to dump shares and cause panic in financial markets. Wachovia was acquired by Wells Fargo in late 2008. The bank’s penalty for laundering

The fine is so small that


over $380 billion in drug money is going to be a promise not to ever do it again, and a $160 million fine.

Wachovia will almost certainly turn a profit on its drug financing


business after legal costs and penalties are taken into account. This is several
steps beyond what most of us think about when we debate too-big-to-fail. The government isn’t shielding Wachovia from losses on risky bets in the capital
markets casinos— it’s shielding the bank from the prosecution of outright criminal behavior. The drug money business did not pose risks to the financial system,
and Wachovia wasn’t losing money on it. Wachovia is simply being shielded from what ought to be the ordinary functioning of the justice system.

Drug cartels and organized crime can’t be fought like other groups.
Going after the money is key. These groups rely on fraud and financial
crimes and passing through established banks.
Parker Asmann, 3-28-2017, "Governments Must Go After the Money to Combat Transnational
Crime: Report," InSight Crime, https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/transnational-crime-
multi-trillion-dollar-business-in-developing-world-report/

The report’s primary authors, GFI policy analyst Channing May and program manager
Christine Clough, told InSight Crime that transnational crime must be treated as a
“business” that is “profit motivated.” In order to effectively combat
transnational organized crime, they said, governments should place
greater emphasis on the illicit financial flows generated by criminal activities. SEE ALSO:
Elites and Organized Crime “These are businesses, and you can’t try to use
techniques that have been used. They don’t work,” May said. “We have to go after
the money. Any business, regardless of goods or services, they have to have money in order to function.” Clough
echoed these statements, adding that too often the discussion about curtailing transnational crime centers on money as it
relates to lining the pockets of the criminals involved. What is often overlooked, Clough suggests, is
organized crime groups to reinvest their money to allow their illicit activities to
the need for
the profits of organized crime groups must often pass
continue. For that to happen,
through legitimate financial institutions. Organized crime groups often use so-
called “shell companies” to launder money through banking systems
without detection. They have also made use of trade-based money laundering schemes that seek to hide illicit financial
flows by making them appear as legitimate business transactions.

Cartel violence is devastating. Cause over-backlash and abuse by


security groups and forces citizens into dangerous vigilante violence or
extortion. And conventional military tactics fail and escalate violence.
Ioan Grillo and Fernando Brito. [Fernando Brito from Culiacan, Sinaloa, is an award-winning
photojournalist who has documented drug cartel violence for newspapers and photo exhibitions
since 2004. Ioan Grillo, a native of England, is a freelance journalist based in Mexico City. He is
the author of Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields and the New Politics of Latin
America (2016) and El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency (2011). "Drug Cartel Violence
In Mexico," https://themobmuseum.org/exhibits/drug-cartel-violence-mexico/

Mexico has suffered from a decade of brutal violence. Most of it stems from drug cartels
fighting security forces and each other over billion-dollar trafficking
routes to smuggle cocaine, heroin, marijuana and crystal meth into the United States. As the violence rages, the cartels have
expanded from drug trafficking to a larger portfolio of crimes. They control human smugglers, or coyotes, who

take undocumented migrants into the United States, steal oil from pipelines, run wildcat iron

mines, kidnap on industrial levels, and shake down thousands of businesses. From October 7 to
December 17, The Mob Museum is displaying a new, temporary exhibit depicting drug cartel violence in Mexico. The photos also show

The Mexican government has waged a


efforts by security forces and citizens to fight back.

military offensive against the cartels for years but the violence has only
gotten worse. Between 2007 and 2016, there were more than 176,000 murders in Mexico, according to police
counts. 2017 is so far the most homicidal year since current counting methods began two decades ago. Government records also show

that more than 30,000 people have disappeared across Mexico. In reaction to out-of-control crime,
thousands of people in Mexico have taken up arms and formed vigilante militias, or autodefensas. However, some in the

vigilante groups have themselves been accused of murder and other crimes. Mexico’s

security forces have also been accused of human rights abuses, including
extrajudicial killings and torture. More than 100 journalists have been
murdered in Mexico since 2000, according to the press freedom group Article 19.
Adv 2: Poverty
Money laundering has systemic economic impacts – sounds
countermeasures are key to avoiding economic decline
McDowell and Novis 1 [(John, Senior Policy Adviser, and Gary, Program
Analyst, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs)
“THE CONSEQUENCES OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND FINANCIAL
CRIME” Economic Perspectives An Electronic Journal of the U.S.
Department of State Vol. 6, No. 2, May 2001] AT
Modern financial systems allow criminals to transfer , in addition to facilitating legitimate commerce, also order the of

millions of dollars instantly the using personal computers and satellite dishes. Because money laundering relies to some extent on existing financial systems a nd operations,

criminal’s choice of money laundering vehicles is limited only by her his or

creativity. Money is laundered through currency exchange houses, stock brokerage houses, gold dealers, casinos, automobile dealerships, insurance companies, and trading companies. Private banking facilities, offshore

criminals manipulate financial systems


banking, shell corporations, free trade zones, wire systems, and trade financing all can mask illegal activities. In doing so,

in the U S and abroad. Unchecked, money laundering can erode the


nited tates

integrity of a nation’s financial institutions. Due to high integration of capital the

markets, money laundering can adversely affect currencies and interest also

rates. laundered money flows into global financial systems, where it can
Ultimately,

undermine national economies Money laundering poses a and currencies. is thus not only a law enforcement problem; it

serious national and international security threat as well. Money laundering is a problem not only in the world’s major financial markets and offshore centers,

but also for emerging markets. Indeed, any country integrated into the international financial system is at risk. As emerging markets open their
economies and financial sectors, they become increasingly viable targets for money laundering activity. Increased efforts by authorities in the major financial markets and in many offshore financial centers to combat this
activity provide further incentive for launderers to shift activities to emerging markets. There is evidence, for example, of increasing cross-border cash shipments to markets with loose arrangements for detecting and recording the placement of
cash in the financial system and of growing investment by organized crime groups in real estate and businesses in emerging markets. Unfortunately, the negative impacts of money laundering tend to be magnified in emerging markets. A closer
examination of some of these negative impacts in both the micro- and macroeconomic realms helps explain why money laundering is such a complex threat, especially in emerging markets. THE ECO NOMIC EFFECTS OF MONEY LAUNDERING
Undermining the Legitimate Private Sector: One of the most serious microeconomic effects of money laundering is felt in the private sector. Money launderers often use front companies, which co-mingle the proceeds of illicit activity with
legitimate funds, to hide the ill-gotten gains. In the United States, for example, organized crime has used pizza parlors to mask proceeds from heroin trafficking. These front companies have access to substantial illicit funds, allowing them to
subsidize front company products and services at levels well below market rates. In some cases, front companies are able to offer products at prices below what it costs the manufacturer to produce. Thus, front companies have a competitive
advantage over legitimate firms that draw capital funds from financial markets. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for legitimate business to compete against front companies with subsidized funding, a situation that can result in the
crowding out of private sector business by criminal organizations. Clearly, the management principles of these criminal enterprises are not consistent with traditional free market principles of legitimate business, which results in further negative

Financial institutions that rely on crime have


macroeconomic effects. Undermining the Integrity of Financial Markets: the proceeds of

additional challenges in managing their assets large sums of


adequately , liabilities, and operations. For example,

laundered money may arrive at a financial institution then disappear but

suddenly This can result in liquidity


, without notice, through wire transfers in response to non-market factors, such as law enforcement operations.

problems and runs on banks. criminal activity has been associated with Indeed, a number of

bank failures around the globe including the failure of the first Internet bank , ,

financial crises
the European Union Bank. Furthermore, some of the 1990s — such as the fraud, money laundering, and bribery scandal at BCCI and the 1995 collapse of Barings Bank as a risky derivatives

had significant fraud components.


scheme carried out by a trader at a subsidiary unit — criminal or Loss of Control of Economic Policy: Michel Camdessus, the former

the magnitude of money laundering is between 2 and


managing director of the International Money Fund, has estimated that

5 percent of world g d p these illicit proceeds may


ross omestic roduct, or at least $600,000 million. In some emerging market countries,

dwarf government budgets, resulting in a loss of control of economic policy by

the sheer magnitude of the accumulated asset


governments. Indeed, in some cases, can be base of laundered proceeds

used to corner small economies. markets — or even Money laundering can also adversely affect currencies and interest rates as launderers reinvest funds where their schemes

laundering can increase the threat of monetary


are less likely to be detected, rather than where rates of return are higher. And money

instability due to the misallocation of resources from artificial distortions in asset

prices.
and commodity laundering may result in
In short, money increased and financial crime inexplicable changes in money demand and

volatility of international capital flows, interest, and exchange rates. The unpredictable
nature of money laundering, coupled with the attendant loss of policy control, may make sound economic policy difficult to achieve. Economic Distortion and Instability: Money launderers are not interested in profit generation from their
investments but rather in protecting their proceeds. Thus they “invest” their funds in activities that are not necessarily economically beneficial to the country where the funds are located. Furthermore, to the extent that money laundering and
entire industries
financial crime redirect funds from sound investments to low-quality investments that hide their proceeds, economic growth can suffer. In some countries, for example, , such as construction

have been financed not because of actual demand, but because of


and hotels, the short-term interests

launderers. When these industries no longer suit the


of money launderers, they money

abandon them, causing a collapse of the economies that could ill se sectors and immense damage to

afford these losses. laundering diminishes government tax revenue


Loss of Revenue: Money and

This means higher tax rates


therefore indirectly harms honest taxpayers. It also makes government tax collection more difficult. loss of revenue generally than would normally be the

laundering threatens the efforts of states to


case if the untaxed proceeds of crime were legitimate. Risks to Privatization Efforts: Money many

reform their economies through privatization. Criminal organizations


introduce s into have the

outbid legitimate purchasers for formerly state-owned enterprises.


financial wherewithal to
Furthermore, while privatization initiatives are often economically beneficial, they can also serve as a vehicle to launder funds. In the past, criminals have been able to purchase marinas, resorts, casinos, and banks to hide their illicit proceeds

Nations cannot afford to have their reputations and financial


and further their criminal activities. Reputation Risk:

institutions tarnished by an association with money laundering , especially in today’s global economy.

Confidence in markets is eroded by laundering and in the signaling role of profits money and financial crimes such as the laundering of criminal

The negative reputation diminishes


proceeds, widespread financial fraud, insider trading of securities, and embezzlement. that results from these activities

legitimate opportunities and sustainable growth while attracting


global international

criminal organizations with undesirable reputations and short-term goals. This can result in diminished development and economic growth. Furthermore, once a country’s financial reputation is

problem could be prevented with proper anti-


damaged, reviving it is very difficult and requires significant government resources to rectify a that

money-laundering controls.

First economic fraud and downturns such as the 08 crises massively


increases poverty and suffering world wide. UN News 09
UN News Service Section, 3-3-2009, "UN News,"
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=30070#.WjNP8lWnEfc

The global financial crisis sweeping through Wall Street and the European
banking sector will touch the lives of the world’s most vulnerable,
pushing millions into deeper poverty and leading to the deaths of
thousands of children, according to a new United Nations study.
Reduced growth in 2009 will cost the 390 million people in sub-Saharan
Africa living in extreme poverty around $18 billion, or $46 per person, warned the report
by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “This projected loss represents 20

per cent of the per capita income of Africa’s poor – a figure that dwarfs the losses sustained in the
developed world,” UNESCO stressed in a press release. The study, prepared by the Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR) team, was presented
yesterday at the first session of the UNESCO Future Forum, aimed at analysing the consequences of the present financial and economic crises for international
cooperation in general and on education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. It documents the potential impact of the current worldwide
economic meltdown on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), internationally agreed targets to eradicate poverty and reduce child mortality among other

human development objectives. The report highlighted the prospect of an increase of


between 200,000 and 400,000 in infant mortality and that child malnutrition, already rising, will be
one of the main drivers of higher child death rates. “Millions of children face the prospect of long-

term irreversible cognitive damage as a result of the financial crisis,” said


Patrick Montjourides, one of the authors. The world’s poorest countries are unable to insulate their citizens from the crisis, with an estimated 43 out of 48 low-
income countries incapable of providing a pro-poor government stimulus, according to the report. There is also a real danger that some low-income countries
which have made progress towards the MDG of universal primary education will suffer setbacks. The at-risk group includes Mozambique, Ethiopia, Mali, Senegal,
Rwanda and Bangladesh. Increased international aid could help reduce fiscal pressure, but aid development assistance budgets are coming under increased
pressure. The European Union’s aid commitment to provide 0.56 per cent of GDP in aid by 2010 is rapidly losing value with lower growth projections. The real
financial value of the commitment in 2010 will be $4.6 billion lower, according to the report. “We cannot allow rich countries to use this crisis as an excuse to turn

Measures to revive growth and fix


their back on the world’s poor,” said UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura. “

the financial system must be coupled with greater efforts to tackle the
structural problems of extreme poverty and inequality.” One of the report’s authors, Kevin Watkins, stressed that “Aid
donors could clearly do far more to protect the world’s poorest people from a crisis manufactured by the world’s richest financiers and regulatory failure in rich
countries.” He compared the estimated $7 billion needed in increased aid for low income countries to meet key education goals with the $380 billion in public
money injected into banking systems in last quarter of 2009. The authors of the report called for a concerted international effort to limit the impact of the financial
crisis on the poor, including an increase of over $500 billion in International Monetary Fund (IMF) special drawing rights, along with governance reforms to give
developing countries an increased voice, as well as the EU to provide a $4.6 billion aid adjustment.

You should privilege everyday violence for two reasons- A) social bias
underrepresents its effects B) its effects are exponential, not linear
which means even if the only causes a small amount of structural
violence, its terminal impacts are huge
Nixon ’11 (Rob, Rachel Carson Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Slow
Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, pgs. 2-3)

Three primary concerns animate this book, chief among them my conviction that we urgently need to rethink-
"slow violence." By slow violence I mean a violence that
politically, imaginatively, and theoretically-what I call
occurs gradually and out of sight, a violence of delayed destruction that is dispersed across time
and space, an attritional violence that is typically not viewed as violence at all. Violence is customarily
conceived as an event or action that is immediate in time, explosive and spectacular in space, and
as erupting into instant sensational visibility. We need, I believe, to engage a different kind of
violence, a violence that is neither spectacular nor instantaneous, but rather incremental and accretive, its
calamitous repercussions playing out across a range of temporal scales. In so doing,
we also need to engage the representational, narrative, and strategic challenges posed by
the relative invisibility of slow violence. Climate change, the thawing cryosphere, toxic drift,
biomagnification, deforestation, the radioactive aftermaths of wars, acidifying oceans,
and a host of other slowly unfolding environmental catastrophes present
formidable representational obstacles that can hinder our efforts to mobilize and act
decisively. The long dyings-the staggered and staggeringly discounted casualties, both human and ecological that
result from war's toxic aftermaths or climate change-are underrepresented in strategic planning as
well as in human memory. Had Summers advocated invading Africa with weapons of mass destruction, his
proposal would have fallen under conventional definitions of violence and been perceived as a military or even an imperial
Advocating invading countries with mass forms of slow-motion toxicity,
invasion.
however, requires rethinking our accepted assumptions of violence to include slow
violence. Such a rethinking requires that we complicate conventional assumptions
about violence as a highly visible act that is newsworthy because it is event focused, time bound, and body
bound. We need to account for how the temporal dispersion of slow violence affects
the way we perceive and respond to a variety of social afflictions-from domestic abuse to
posttraumatic stress and, in particular, environmental calamities. A major challenge is representational: how to devise
slow
arresting stories, images, and symbols adequate to the pervasive but elusive violence of delayed effects. Crucially,
violence is often not just attritional but also exponential, operating as a
major threat multiplier; it can fuel long-term, proliferating conflicts in
situations where the conditions for sustaining life become increasingly
but gradually degraded.
Plan
Plan Text: Plea bargaining and deferred-prosecution agreements ought
to be abolished for financial crimes in the United States criminal justice
system. To clarify, deferred-prosecution is just a specific type of plea
bargain used with large corporations where they admit guilt and pay a
fine.
Solvency
Status quo policies mean white collar criminals get to walk away free.
They pay plead guilty, pay fines, and go back to screwing over the
middle class.
Patrick Radden [Patrick Radden Keefe, a staff writer, has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2006. He has written about the
chef turned world traveller Anthony Bourdain, the capture of the Mexican drug baron Joaquín (El Chapo) Guzmán Loera, and
allegations of corruption against the tycoon Beny Steinmetz over a lucrative mining concession in Guinea. His story “A Loaded Gun,”
about the troubled history of the mass shooter Amy Bishop, received the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing in 2014; he
was also a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Reporting in 2015 and 2016. He is the author of two books: “The Snakehead:
An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream,” which grew out of an article published in the magazine, and
“Chatter: Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping.” He is the recipient of a
Guggenheim Fellowship and fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the New America Foundation, and
the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library., 7-31-2017, "Why Corrupt Bankers Avoid Jail," New
Yorker, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/31/why-corrupt-bankers-avoid-jail

Something has changed in the past decade, however, and federal prosecutions of white-collar
crime are now at a twenty-year low. As Jesse Eisinger, a reporter for ProPublica, explains in a new
book, “The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives” (Simon & Schuster), a financial
crisis has traditionally been followed by a legal crackdown, because a market contraction reveals all the wishful accounting
and outright fraud that were hidden when the going was good. In Warren Buffett’s memorable formulation, “You only find
out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.” After
the mortgage crisis, people in
Washington and on Wall Street expected prosecutions. Eisinger reels off a list of
potential candidates for criminal charges: Countrywide, Washington Mutual, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup, A.I.G., Bank of
America, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley. Although fines were paid, and the Financial Crisis Inquiry
Commission referred dozens of cases to prosecutors, there were no indictments, no trials, no
jail time. As Eisinger writes, “Passing on one investigation is understandable; passing on every single one starts to
speak to something else.”

And the plan is key. Status quo incentives will always push prosecutors
to plea deals if it’s an option. Only consistent and constant prosecution
will bring them to justice.
Patrick Radden [Patrick Radden Keefe, a staff writer, has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2006. He has written about
the chef turned world traveller Anthony Bourdain, the capture of the Mexican drug baron Joaquín (El Chapo) Guzmán Loera, and
allegations of corruption against the tycoon Beny Steinmetz over a lucrative mining concession in Guinea. His story “A Loaded Gun,”
about the troubled history of the mass shooter Amy Bishop, received the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing in 2014; he
was also a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Reporting in 2015 and 2016. He is the author of two books: “The Snakehead:
An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream,” which grew out of an article published in the magazine, and
“Chatter: Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping.” He is the recipient of a
Guggenheim Fellowship and fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the New America Foundation, and
the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library., 7-31-2017, "Why Corrupt Bankers Avoid Jail," New
Yorker, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/31/why-corrupt-bankers-avoid-jail

Prosecutors came to rely instead on a type of deal, known as a


deferred-prosecution agreement, in which the company would
acknowledge wrongdoing, pay a fine, and pledge to improve its
corporate culture. From 2002 to 2016, the Department of Justice
entered into more than four hundred of these arrangements. Having spent a
trillion dollars to bail out the banks in 2008 and 2009, the federal government may have been loath to jeopardize the fortunes of those
banks by prosecuting them just a few years later. But fears of collateral consequences also inhibited the administration of justice in more
officials in the Department of Justice
run-of-the-mill instances of criminal money laundering. Some

wanted to indict HSBC, according to e-mails unearthed by a subsequent


congressional investigation. But Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer warned U.S. authorities that a prosecution
HSBC was granted a deferred-
could lead to “very serious implications for financial and economic stability.”

prosecution agreement. Numerous explanations have been offered for


the failure of the Obama Justice Department to hold the big banks accountable: corporate lobbying in
Washington, appeals-court rulings that tightened the definitions of certain types of corporate crime, the redirecting of investigative
But Eisinger homes in on a subtler factor: the professional
resources after 9/11.

psychology of élite federal prosecutors. “The Chickenshit Club” is about a specific vocational
temperament. When James Comey took over as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in 2002, Eisinger tells us, he
For graduates of top law schools, a job as a
summoned his young prosecutors for a pep talk.

federal prosecutor is a brass ring, and the Southern District of New


York, which has jurisdiction over Wall Street, is the most selective office of
them all. Addressing this ferociously competitive cohort, Comey asked, “Who here has never had an acquittal or a hung jury?” Several go-
getters, proud of their unblemished records, raised their hands. But Comey, with his trademark altar-boy probity, had a surprise for them.
“You are members of what we like to call the Chickenshit Club,” he said. “He’s all right, but I’m looking for a guy who can really make me laugh.”
Most people who go to law school are risk-averse types. With their unalloyed drive to excel, the
élite young attorneys who ascend to the Southern District have a lifetime of good grades to show for it. Once they become prosecutors, they
In a world of limited public resources and
are invested with extraordinary powers.

unlimited wrongdoing, prosecutors make decisions every day about


who should be charged and tried, who should be allowed to plead, and
who should be let go. This is the front line of criminal justice, and decisions are made unilaterally, with no
review by a judge. Even in the American system of checks and balances, there are few fetters on a prosecutor’s discretion. A perfect record of
convictions and guilty pleas might signal simply that you’re a crackerjack attorney. But, as Comey implied, it could also mean
that you’re taking only those cases you’re sure you’ll win—the lawyerly equivalent of enrolling in
a gut class for the easy A. You might suppose that the glory of convicting a blue-chip C.E.O. would be irresistible. But taking

such a case to trial entails serious risk. In contemporary corporations,


the decision-making process is so diffuse that it can be difficult to
establish criminal culpability beyond a reasonable doubt. In the United Brands case,
Eli Black directly authorized the bribe, but these days the precise author of corporate wrongdoing is seldom so clear. Even after a provision
in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, of 2002, began requiring C.E.O.s and C.F.O.s to certify the accuracy of corporate financial reports, few executives
As
were charged with violating the law, because the companies threw up a thicket of subcertifications to buffer accountability.

Samuel Buell, who helped prosecute the Enron and Andersen cases and is now a law professor at Duke,
points out in his recent book, “Capital Offenses: Business Crime and Punishment in America’s Corporate Age,” an
executive’s claim that he believed he was following the rules often poses “a
severe, even disabling, obstacle to prosecution.” That is doubly so in instances where the alleged crime is
abstruse. Even the professionals who bought and sold the dodgy mortgage-backed instruments that led to the financial crisis often didn’t
understand exactly how they worked. How do you explicate such transactions—and prove criminal intent—
to a jury? Even with an airtight case, going to trial is always a gamble. Lose a white-collar
criminal trial and you become a symbol of prosecutorial overreach. You
might even set back the cause of corporate accountability. Plus, you’ll have a ding on your record. Eisinger
quotes one of Lanny Breuer’s deputies in Washington telling a prosecutor, “If you lose this case, Lanny will have egg on his face.” Such fears
The deferred-prosecution agreement,
can deter the most ambitious and scrupulous of young attorneys.

by contrast,is a sure thing. Companies will happily enter into such an agreement, and even pay an enormous fine, if it means
avoiding prosecution. “That rewards laziness,” David Ogden, a Deputy Attorney General in the Obama Administration,
tells Eisinger. “The department gets publicity, stats, and big money. But the enormous settlements may or may not reflect that they could
actually prove the case.” When companies agree to pay fines for misconduct, the agreements they sign are often conspicuously stinting in
agreements acknowledge criminal conduct by the
details about what they did wrong. Many

corporation but do not name a single executive or officer responsible. “The who was
Justice Department argued that the large fines signaled just how tough it had been,” Eisinger writes. “But since these
settlements lacked transparency, the public didn’t receive basic information about why the agreement had been
reached, how the fine had been determined, what the scale of the wrongdoing was and which cases prosecutors never took up.” These pas de
deux between prosecutors and corporate chieftains came to feel “stage-managed, rather than punitive.” White-collar crime is not the only
area in which prosecutors show reluctance to risk a trial. By the time Comey issued his Chickenshit Club admonition, a deeper shift in the
administration of justice was already under way . Faced with the challenges of entrusting any
criminal case to a jury, prosecutors were increasingly skipping trial
altogether, negotiating a plea bargain instead. With the introduction of stiff sentencing guidelines,
prosecutors routinely “up charged” crimes, requesting maximal prison sentences in the event of a conviction at trial. Defendants can be
risk-averse, too. Offered the choice between, say, pleading guilty and serving three to five years, or going to trial and serving ten if convicted,
these arrangements grant
many opt for the former. But, as with corporate deferred-prosecution agreements,

prosecutors a victory without testing their evidence in court. Rachel Barkow, a law professor
at N.Y.U., has pointed out that when you threaten defendants with Draconian sentences if they refuse to plead guilty “you penalize people
who have the nerve to go to trial.” Some scholars argue that such prosecutorial bullying may violate the Sixth Amendment right to a trial by
jury. (In 2014, a federal judge in Colorado declared that, for most Americans, this constitutional right is now “a myth.”) The criminal trial is
increasingly becoming a relic. More than ninety-five per cent of all criminal cases at both the state and the federal level are now resolved in
plea bargains. A recent article in the Times described vacant courtrooms, out-of-work stenographers, and New York judges who can go a
year or more without hearing a single criminal case. It may be no accident that the vanishing of
the criminal trial has coincided with Eisinger’s story of vanishing
corporate accountability. Presenting a case to a jury is a skill, and
prosecutors now have fewer opportunities to hone it. The less adept you are in the courtroom,
the more intimidated you will be by the prospect of going to trial, making you more likely to opt for a

plea agreement instead.

AND only harsher punishments can solve. Deals that lead to fines are
just seen as the cost of doing business.
Patrick Radden [Patrick Radden Keefe, a staff writer, has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2006. He has written
about the chef turned world traveller Anthony Bourdain, the capture of the Mexican drug baron Joaquín (El Chapo) Guzmán Loera,
and allegations of corruption against the tycoon Beny Steinmetz over a lucrative mining concession in Guinea. His story “A Loaded
Gun,” about the troubled history of the mass shooter Amy Bishop, received the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing in
2014; he was also a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Reporting in 2015 and 2016. He is the author of two books: “The
Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream,” which grew out of an article published in the
magazine, and “Chatter: Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping.” He is the
recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the New America
Foundation, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, 7-31-2017, "Why Corrupt Bankers
Avoid Jail," New Yorker, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/31/why-corrupt-bankers-avoid-jail

The failure to prosecute white-collar executives might be more justifiable if there were any indication that fines and
deferred-prosecution agreements deterred corporate wrongdoing. The evidence, however, is
not
promising. Pfizer has been hit with three successive deferred-
prosecution agreements, for illegal marketing, bribing doctors, and
other crimes. On each occasion, the company paid a substantial fine and
pledged to change—then returned to the same type of behavior. You
might think that the price for flouting a deferred-prosecution agreement
would be prosecution. But after offering Pfizer a second chance, only to have
misconduct continue, the government was apparently happy to offer a third. Jed Rakoff, the
prosecutor who indicted United Brands, became a judge, and he has emerged as an outspoken critic of the prevailing
approach to corporate crime. He has argued that companies
may come to view even billion-
dollar fines as a “cost of doing business.” In an article in The New York Review of Books,
titled “The Financial Crisis: Why Have No High Level Executives Been Prosecuted?,” he highlights the farce of obliging a
corporation to acknowledge criminal wrongdoing without identifying or prosecuting the managers who were responsible.
Rakoff is dubious of obligatory promises from companies to change their corporate culture, and suspects that “sending a
few guilty executives to prison for orchestrating corporate crimes might have a far greater effect.” In
recent
years, the Department of Justice, sensitive to criticism of its kid-glove approach to corporations, did actually
indict a string of banks, including Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, J. P.
Morgan, and Barclays. The banks pleaded guilty and, despite all the alarmism about
“collateral consequences,” they all stayed in business, and there were no major shocks to
the global economy. In “Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal,” the Harvard Business
School professor Eugene Soltes points out that, in the 2015-16 academic year, ten companies recruiting for new hires at
Harvard had recently been convicted of a federal crime or entered into a deferred-prosecution agreement. By now, Soltes
suggests, corporate
deviance may have become so routine that even
pleading guilty to a felony is no big deal. What had once been described as a badge of
ignominy that could put a company out of business was now just a bit of unpleasantness: a passing hassle, like a parking
ticket.

Tackling corrupt bankers is key to solving. It’s not about getting them
to work with us either. Harsh punishments are key to deterrence.
Mazur 13 [(Robert, former federal agent) “How to Halt the Terrorist Money
Train” NYT Jan 2] AT
The only way to stop the flow of this dirty money is to get tough on the bankers
who help mask and transfer it around the world. Banks themselves don’t launder
money, after all; people do. The standard of proof needed to charge and convict a
bank officer of money laundering is simple. If the person knows that funds are proceeds of a
crime and, thereafter, he attempts to disguise or conceal the true source of the funds, he has committed the criminal
Any individual who intentionally provides financial
offense of money laundering.
services to criminal organizations should be dealt with as harshly as possible under
the law. Bank officers at HSBC branches in Mexico who facilitated the transfer of $881 million
for the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, the Norte del Valle Cartel in Colombia and other narcotics traffickers —
deposits that were often passed through teller windows in cash-filled boxes, some with hundreds of thousands of dollars
there’s little incentive for
in them — might contend that they were naïve about this money’s source. But
them, or any bank officer, to be more vigilant when turning a blind eye comes with
little or no penalty. The stakes are simply too high for such a soft-glove
approach on money laundering. As long as drug traffickers can wash the stain from 99 percent of their
ill-gotten gains, as long as terrorists can move their cash freely around the world,
we’ll have no chance to halt their deadly trades. We can help put an end to
both of these scourges by putting the bankers who facilitate them in jail.