The Chickensh*t Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives

In The Chickensh*t Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives, Pulitzer Prize-winning financial journalist and senior reporter at ProPublica Jesse Eisinger delves into the unpunished crimes of big businesses in the United States. The result is an urgent spotlight on a justice system that is anything but just when it comes to dealing with the evolution of what Eisinger deems an "ecosystem of corporate fraud."

The term "Chickensh*t Club" comes from a speech delivered by James Comey, who served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Manhattan before becoming director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The "club" was made up of prosecutors reluctant to see a case to court unless they felt victory was assured. Afraid to have a loss or hung jury on their records, they simply didn't bring risky or complicated cases to trial. Settlements with corporations, rather than prosecution of individuals, became the norm.

What follows is a comprehensive investigation into individuals, companies and systems that allowed this continuance of corruption. Eisinger puts a range of targets in his crosshairs, from big banks to big pharma, shattering the illusion of any company being "too big to fail" and instead characterizing people at the helm of corporations as having become too powerful to be prosecuted--or in Eisinger's words, "too big to jail."

His writing is incisive, adeptly mixing legal jargon and conversational prose for a white-knuckle read that's at once probing and damning. The title may elicit a laugh, but the content is chilling. --Katie Weed, freelance writer and reviewer

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