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Two U.S. senators turn up heat on prosecutors' bank settlements

Jan 30 2013 Aruna Viswanatha, Reuters

Two U.S. senators on Tuesday questioned whether the Justice Department has been aggressive enough in prosecuting misconduct at the largest banks and asked the department to turn over information on how it determines punishments. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat who chairs a Senate Banking subcommittee, and Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said they were worried certain Wall Street banks enjoyed "too big to fail" status in enforcement policy, resulting in penalties that were disproportionately low. The requests come amid renewed interest in whether U.S. authorities have held accountable the institutions and individuals who contributed to the financial crisis. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, the senators asked whether the Justice Department ever failed to prosecute any institutions due to concern about the stability of the financial markets or imposed a penalty that reflected such concerns. They also asked Holder to

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