Would anticipating a return to a job paying salary of $3,000,000 a year affect your objectivity while working at another job?

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com
Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Knowing a former employer held open a three-million-a-year job awaiting his return had no impact on the objectivity of at least one departed government worker.

10/16 – BoingBoing – Eric Holder:  I didn’t prosecute bankers unrelated to my $3M/year law firm salary – Article points to the discussion in the next article.

Mr. Holder left a law firm where he was reportedly earning $3M a year to become the attorney general. After completing his government service, he returned to the law firm. Presumably his salary will resume or even increase since he now has humongous amounts of inside information on government strategy, capabilities, and intentions for enforcement of criminal law. That will be tremendously valuable knowledge for banks that find themselves talking to various US Attorneys in the near future.

One pertinent comment:

Boy, did Holder ever get upset at the suggestion that he had given his former clients a free ride just because they’d made him unbelievably rich and would make him richer still once his holiday in the government was over.

BoingBoing’s tweet on 10/17, which links to the above article:

Eric Holder: I didn’t prosecute bankers for reasons totally unrelated to my $3M/year law firm salary, honest.

10/16 – The Intercept – Holder Defends Record of Not Prosecuting Financial Fraud – Dan Froomkin asked some unpleasant questions as Mr. Holder addressed the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. (Given the low aggressiveness in prosecuting bank fraud and the massive aggressiveness in prosecuting leakers, it is sadly ironic that Mr. Holder was addressing that group, a point made by both The Intercept and BoingBoing articles.)

Article explains Mr. Holder was pulling in $3M a year when the left Covington & Burling. When the firm took on new office space, article says they reserved an 11th floor corner office for Mr. Holder, just waiting for his expected return to the firm.

A key ‘graph:

Holder bristled at my suggestion that there might be a connection between his current employer and his conduct at Justice,  saying that many top prosecutors at Justice had pursued cases as best they could. “We were simply unable to do it under the existing statutes that we had, and given the ways the decision-making worked at those institutions,” he said.

It would require inhuman strength to remain objective when leaving a job paying $57,700 a week and to which you expect to return. (That $3,000,000 number means earning more in a week than an average worker makes in a year.) To do so requires a superhuman level of integrity. Yet he asserts he has that integrity and the media (except for the two above reporters) sees nothing to discuss.

Nobody anywhere in our society would ever let someone in a small business, manufacturing company, large bank, church, charity, or accounting firm get away with claiming objectivity with a $3M salary expected in their near future. Imagine the society wide howls of laughter if we substituted an oil company executive into the above stories.

When I get a chance, will write another post on the Holder Doctrine regarding prosecuting to-big-to-fail/jail banks. Have a couple of articles from the ‘net to discuss.

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