The Justice Department of Obama-1 was out for "fines and reforms" in the financial industry. Now we're in Obama-2 and the prosecutors are going for "guilty."
Lawyers for several big banks, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they were already adjusting their defenses and urging banks to fire employees suspected of wrongdoing in the hope of appeasing authorities. But critics question whether the new strategy amounts to a symbolic reprimand rather than a sweeping rebuke....
...The settlements present a significant shift. Authorities have long avoided guilty pleas over fears they will destroy the banks and imperil the broader economy. By going after a subsidiary, prosecutors shield the parent company from losing its license, but still send a warning to the financial industry. ...NYT
The banks' legal teams are trying to get DOJ to back off, calling the new offensive a "shakedown." Targets are not just institutions like Citibank. Overseas banks are also at the center of the target.