Feds Let Whale Off the Hook, Settle for Minnows Instead

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Good news! We’re getting criminal charges in the “London Whale” case:

Prosecutors are expected to charge Javier Martin-Artajo, a Spaniard who led the team that made the disastrous trades, and Julien Grout, a Frenchman responsible for recording and distributing daily values on the group’s positions. They don’t, however, plan to bring charges against Bruno Iksil, who made the wagers that earned him the nickname, according to a person close to the situation.

Wait. What? The actual whale himself is getting off scot-free? Only his underlings are facing trial? Yep. Turns out that Iksil has agreed to rat out his former colleagues, and in return the feds have agreed not to charge him.

That’s just weird. I’ve heard of going easy on the small fry in order to get the goods on a bigger fish, but I’ve never heard of letting the ringleader skate in order to get the goods on the small fry. Welcome to Wall Street.

CORRECTION: Martin-Artajo was Iksil’s boss. Only Grout was an underling. Apologies for the error.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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