"…Holder believes that jailing executives — and exacting other forms of significant criminal justice against criminal corporations — is fundamentally unjust, because of all the collateral damage to investors, employees and customers. Instead, Holder preferred to fine companies very large sums (but not so large that the companies were jeopardized), effectively turning criminal lawbreaking into a predictable line item, one of the costs of doing business. Meanwhile, the collateral damage from the jailing of poor people — damage to their families and their communities — was considered an unavoidable and tolerable result of a functional criminal justice system.
It’s thanks to Holder than not one banking exec went to jail for the mass fraud that led to the collapse of the global economy in 2008 — ironically, the Holder doctrine’s rise coincides with the peak of extreme prison sentences for minor crimes — as Matt Taibbi documents in his amazing book The Divide, which begins with two sentencing hearings, in the same building, on the same day: in the first, a man gets years in prison for possessing a small amount of marijuana; in the second, HSBC executives are allowed to walk free after being convicted of laundering literally billions of dollars for barbaric Mexican drug cartels — despite having ordered the construction of wider teller-windows to accommodate the enormous sacks of cash that drug cartel bagmen brought into HSBC branches (that’s not a metaphor — that actually happened).
The Too-Big-To–Fail bankster is a creation of the Obama DoJ, and it’s a significant contributor to the widespread perception that the "system is rigged," and the election of Donald Trump — who knew exactly how rigged the system is, because he is a major beneficiary of that rigging.
Holder left the DoJ job in 2015 and started drawing a $3M/year salary as a finance exec; it was his successor, Loretta Lynch, who began jailing executives for ordering crimes. Her Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, author of the "Yates Memo," advocated for the zealous prosecution and jailing of executives, and the prosecution of VW executive, Oliver Schmidt, is a case study in how devastatingly effective the application of normal criminal justice procedures to big companies can be."