Too big to fail, now too big to jail? Yarmuth says administration shouldn't let bankers off hook

03/19/2013 08:56 AM

Prosecuting banks might be difficult under current laws, but Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville said the Justice Department should go after individual bankers whose decisions and negligence helped fuel the financial collapse five years ago.

Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told a Senate committee that the banks had essentially become too big to prosecute, as the Hill reported .

Yarmuth said in an interview this weekend that he believes the Obama administration needs to hold individual bankers responsible for the ill-advised and dangerous decisions they made that did have catastrophic effects on the economy.

“I don’t necessarily agree with that … I think there’s a distinction between prosecuting an institution for a criminal defense and prosecuting individuals. And I think the justice department needs to focus on accountability of individuals if you could find the individuals

Yarmuth said that could have an effect on other bankers if they see friends being “carted off to prison.”

Hear what else he says about that, as well as the latest on an Ashley Judd U.S. Senate candidacy in this six-minute interview:

Yarmuth said he would be “shocked” if Judd, the actress with strong Kentucky ties, doesn’t end up running for the Democratic nomination to take on U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014.

So far Judd has met with donors in Louisville and made calls to Democratic leaders but so far hasn’t made any public remarks in Kentucky. And she has been reluctant to do interviews with Kentucky press.

Pure Politics first requested an interview with Judd about her political ambitions on Oct. 15, 2012.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.