The Chickenshit Club

The Chickenshit Club

Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives

Book - 2017
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From Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jesse Eisinger, "a fast moving, fly-on-the-wall, disheartening look at the deterioration of the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission...It is a book of superheroes" ( San Franscisco Review of Books ).

Why were no bankers put in prison after the financial crisis of 2008? Why do CEOs seem to commit wrongdoing with impunity? The problem goes beyond banks deemed "Too Big to Fail" to almost every large corporation in America--to pharmaceutical companies and auto manufacturers and beyond. The Chickenshit Club --an inside reference to prosecutors too scared of failure and too daunted by legal impediments to do their jobs--explains why in "an absorbing financial history, a monumental work of journalism...a first-rate study of the federal bureaucracy" ( Bloomberg Businessweek ).

Jesse Eisigner begins the story in the 1970s, when the government pioneered the notion that top corporate executives, not just seedy crooks, could commit heinous crimes and go to prison. He brings us to trading desks on Wall Street, to corporate boardrooms and the offices of prosecutors and FBI agents. These revealing looks provide context for the evolution of the Justice Department's approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early 2000s and into the Justice Department's approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early 2000s and into the Justice Department of today, including the prosecutorial fiascos, corporate lobbying, trial losses, and culture shifts that have stripped the government of the will and ability to prosecute top corporate executives.

"Brave and elegant....a fearless reporter...Eisinger's important and profound book takes no prisoners ( The Washington Post). Exposing one of the most important scandals of our time, The Chickenshit Club provides a clear, detailed explanation as to how our Justice Department has come to avoid, bungle, and mismanage the fight to bring these alleged criminals to justice. "This book is a wakeup call...a chilling read, and a needed one" (
Alternative Title: Chicken shit club
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2017.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781501121364
Branch Call Number: 364.168
Characteristics: xxi, 377 pages ; 24 cm


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Mar 24, 2018

Pulitzer prize winning journalist Jesse Eisinger investigates the seemingly bland world of white collar/corporate crime, which the average person has become far more aware of since the financial crisis and Enron. The results-these guys (and it is almost always guys) are awful and rarely get punished-won't surprise anyone, but it's exhaustively researched and written in a way that is balanced, but also designed to provoke justifiable anger. The title comes from a speech that James Comey (yup, that James Comey) gave. For further reading there's "The Big Short," "Too Big to Fail," and "End This Depression Now."

PimaLib_NormS Mar 05, 2018

The first thing one will notice about Jesse Eisinger’s enlightening book, “The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives” is, of course, the vulgarity in the title. I would hope that potential readers would not be put off by this. “The Club” is a serious look inside the legal profession and why, after the economy cratered in 2008, the executives of the financial institutions that caused the crisis were not prosecuted and sent to jail. The title of the book refers to prosecutors who do not have the courage to take on cases that are not slam dunk victories. Unfortunately, too many corporations and executives are going unpunished for criminal behavior because government prosecutors are afraid to take on cases they might not win. Then, there are prosecutors that will not try a case because they are afraid that they will win and cause the company to fail, the “too big to fail” argument. I do see the merit in not taking on an unwinnable case. Why waste the time and money? But, what about doing what is right? What about some level of deterrence against future wrongdoing? Why weren’t the architects of the Great Recession put on trial? Oh, and another thing, how about we stop the unseemly practice of filling high government positions with business executives, then allowing those former executives to make decisions affecting the businesses from which they came? The whole shameful affair just reeks of chicken- . . . ah, you get the idea.

Nov 05, 2017

This was a very informative book in explaining why there has been so little progress made in prosecuting individuals or corporations for wrongdoing in the financial crises. The justice department is not supposed to be politicized, but the rules and direction of top leaders is very much affected by politics from both parties. Also, the influence of money and power on our judicial system has become more evident in recent years. The book makes it very clear that there is a problem with how our judicial system has not worked for all levels of society.

Aug 12, 2017

**** NEGATIVE Rating **** NEGATIVE Rating **** NEGATIVE Rating****NEGATIVE Rating
[Update: This AM - - 7/20/17 - - on Dave Ross Fake News Show {KIRO} he interviewed the author, Eisenger, who said that nobody sent Eric Holder an email telling him not to prosecute the bankers - - completely ignoring that WikiLeaked email to Obama, directing him to appoint Covington & Burling's Eric Holder to be his attorney general! Of course, Dave Ross knows nothing of such things . . . .]
This book is completely bogus - - no other way to put it. The author isn't just spinning, the author has spun to infinity and beyond! [The author attempts to establish bogus points as to why the DoJ never prosecuted, ignoring major points of Citigroup directing President Obama to appoint Covington & Burling's Eric Holder to be his attorney general as it was Covington & Burling, for the bankers including Citigroup/Citibank, who created MERS and MERSCorp to enable a global economic meltdown and massive wealth transfer.]
The problem is simple: everything the bankers did was illegal. They illegally circumvented contract law, illegally violated various property laws, real estate laws, tax laws as REMIC status was continuously invalidated, and even their PSAs, or Pooling Securitization Agreements, were invalidated as they didn't follow the contractual rules written, thereby invalidating all the contracts and acted illegal in even that regard!
Again, EVERYTHING the bankers, mortgage lenders and fraudclosers of those fraudclosures was illegal.
Would recommend serious perusing of the following:
Chain of Title, by David Dayen
The Case for the Corporate Death Penalty, by Mary Kreiner Ramirez
***And this, Mr. Former FBI director, Comey, is what intel professionals and IT professionals call your Pure Crapola Club and it's predictable outcomes:


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