Bartlett Naylor on Bank Crimes, Coleen Rowley on Whistleblowers

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This week on CounterSpin: Are banks that are too big to fail, and too big to jail, too big to surveil? You’d get that impression from corporate media’s subdued reaction to the Justice Department announcement that five major banks would plead guilty to felony charges, including price-rigging. Some major papers spilled some ink, but most went with a wire piece emphasizing the $5 billion the banks will supposedly “fork over” for what the DoJ termed “brazen” criminality, and called it a day. Are media reacting to a not-especially-meaningful ruling, or are they dangerously indifferent to questions of criminal banks? We’ll hear from Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate at the group Public Citizen, and former chief of investigations for the US Senate Banking Committee.

WhistleAlso on the show: The whistleblower is on the front line of the conflict between powerful institutions’ desire to keep secrets and democracy’s requirement that people be well-informed, especially of actions taken in their name. Protecting whistleblowers from persecution is one driving idea behind the international Stand Up for Truth tour slated for early June. One of the participants is retired FBI agent-turned-political activist Coleen Rowley. We’ll talk with her about that.

And first, as usual, we’ll take a look back at the week’s press, including an undercovered story about the NBA and police violence.


  • Public Citizen
  • “Public Citizen’s Bartlett Naylor on Too Big to Fail and Too Big to Jail” (Corporate Crime Reporter, 4/14/15)
  • “Truth, Transparency, Democracy and the Surveillance State,” by Coleen Rowley (Huffington Post, 3/5/15)

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