View Full Version : DOJ Assessing Size Of Penalty It Can Levy On Volkswagen W/out Putting Company Out of Business

09-27-2016, 07:56 AM
That's mighty big of them.


When two weeks ago the DOJ announced a far larger than expected $14 billion settlement demand from Deutsche Bank, one which if left unrevised would would leave Deutsche Bank short of billions in capital, has since triggered the latest episode of European bank selling and potential contagion, some wondered if there was an element of punitive retaliation aimed at Europe's "assault" on Apple's taxes. That question will surely grow louder when overnight Bloomberg reported that the DOJ is now assessing "how big a criminal fine it can extract from Volkswagen AG over emissions-cheating without putting the German carmaker out of business."

Volkswagen stock promptly dropped over 3% on the news and was down 2.5% as of the latest refresh.

The government and Volkswagen are trying to reach a settlement by January, Bloomberg reported, before a new U.S. administration comes into office and replaces the political appointees who have been overseeing the process. In criminal prosecutions, the Justice Department may assess the impact of a charge or settlement on a business’s viability, and the resulting effect on shareholders and employees. A prosecution’s potential collateral damage is one of the factors the department considers under principles for prosecuting businesses laid out in the “U.S. Attorney’s Manual.”

Bloomberg adds that while in the DB case the penalty may have been overly demanding, as the U.S.’s Volkswagen calculations show, the department is showing that in some cases, it will take a company’s financial health into account. That said, it’s not clear what penalty range the U.S. is considering in the criminal case against Volkswagen. The company had net liquidity of 28.8 billion euros ($32.4 billion) as of June 30, and Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter said his goal is to keep the target for average net liquidity at 20 billion euros to ensure funding needs and protect the company’s credit rating. The carmaker generates several billions of dollars of cash each quarter and could tap into a credit line or raise capital if necessary to pay its obligations.

Volkswagen has already agreed to pay an industry-record $16.5 billion in civil litigation fines in the U.S. after admitting last year that its diesel cars were outfitted with a “defeat device” that allowed them to game U.S. environmental tests. The carmaker is also on the hook for outstanding civil claims from several states and as much as $9.2 billion in investor lawsuits in Germany, where it’s also under criminal investigation.

“The department doesn’t pick a number in a complete vacuum," said William Stellmach, a former federal prosecutor now at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in Washington. "There are a number of cases where it has acknowledged that the impact of a financial penalty on a company was a factor in deciding what that penalty should be.
Ultimately, however, the question remains: is the DOJ set out on a crusade to "punish" European some of the most iconic European -or rather German- companies, taking a shot first at Deutsche and now Volkswagen, and if so at what point will it deem its overreach to be sufficient. For now, there is no answer and as questions linger, expect European stocks to suffer for the near-future.

09-27-2016, 08:12 AM
What was the penalty in the recent Wells Fargo case?

09-27-2016, 08:54 AM
DOJ needs to put itself out of business

Anti Federalist
09-27-2016, 12:21 PM
If VW had any balls, they would tell the US to get fucked and quit doing business here.

09-27-2016, 01:17 PM
Pay the Church of Amerikunt for your indulgences, VW.

Pay forced tribute to CoA's gods, Gaia and Salas. You shall tithe or be punished, for disregarding the earth mother and god of safety.
The bureaucracy demi-gods have decreed this, the believers have taken and given power to enforce this.

09-27-2016, 01:19 PM
If VW had any balls, they would tell the US to get fucked and quit doing business here.

then watch the us label them a terrorist organization.

09-27-2016, 05:01 PM
If VW had any balls, they would tell the US to get fucked and quit doing business here.

This. Spend those billions building market share everywhere else.

09-27-2016, 05:07 PM
Start selling a spinoff to the US market.

09-27-2016, 05:26 PM
If VW had any balls, they would tell the US to get $#@!ed and quit keep doing business here.


Anti Federalist
09-28-2016, 11:07 AM
Beria’s Technique… As Applied to VW


by eric • September 28, 2016

The trick is keeping your victim alive… so that the beatings can continue.

That was Lavrenti Beria’s dictum.

Beria was Stalin’s secret police chief, the Soviet version of Nazi Germany’s SS chief, Heinrich Himmler. (Stalin actually referred to Beria this way when he introduced him to Hitler’s foreign minister, Joachim Ribbentrop, during the latter’s visit to Moscow to sign the NonAggression Pact that led to the dismemberment of Poland and WW II.)

Anyhow, the principle.

Make them suffer.

This is the policy of the U.S. Justice Department, which is “assessing how big a criminal fine it can extract from Volskwagen AG over emissions-cheating without putting the German carmaker out of business.”

How about that.

Punishment according to the victim’s capacity to endure suffering.

Somewhere deep in the guts of Hell, Beria is smiling…

And, keep in mind, no one’s been actually harmed by any of this.

Well, other than VW – its employees, shareholders and customers. There’s nothing wrong with the “affected” cars, except that they “cheated” Uncle’s emissions tests.

Well, so?

What harm has been caused by this?

The EPA and its gang of Inspector Javerts have portrayed the “cheating” VW diesels as planet-defiling horror shows on par with the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil spill back in 2010. At least in that case, one could point to dead sea birds and oil-slicked beaches.

Actual harms caused.

But where is the evidence that the “affected” diesels have hurt anyone – or anything?

I mean, other than Uncle’s wounded pride?

The “affected” diesels date back to the 2000 model year – which is almost 17 years ago. By now, surely, the harm caused to the Gaiasphere should be plainly evident.

Did the skies darken? The incidence of asthma and other respiratory ailments uptick?

Er… uh… hmmmm.

All that did happen was evidence of “cheating” the tests was uncovered. After someone within the company narced to the EPA, apparently. Put another way, until someone narced – and sicced EPA on VW – there was no reason to suspect a problem because no one out in the world was complaining of one.

The narc squealed two years ago. For almost 15 years prior – back to model year 2000 – no one so much as reported a case of the sniffles as a side-effect of VW’s “cheating” diesels.

Which indicates strongly that there is no problem with the “cheating” diesels, as far as public health, air quality, etc. The real problem is that Uncle is mightily aggrieved over VW’s daring to defy its Authoritah.

And that’s why Uncle is determined to make VW suffer. Just as Stalin’s henchman, Beria, was tasked with the job of making Stalin’s enemies (real and imagined) suffer.

How much suffering?

British Petroleum – which owned the Deepwater Horizon rig – was hit with $25 billion in civil and criminal fines. Sounds huge, right?

Here’s huger:

VW is looking at $50 billion in civil and criminal fines.The civil fines alone already amount to about two-thirds what BP had to pay out.

For not having hurt anyone, as far as can be determined.

It’s astonishing that – so far as I can tell – no one in the media has asked about that. Ok, VW “cheated.” Well, fine. People “cheat” all the time. It does not necessarily mean they hurt anyone. I’ve mentioned before the example of using a radar detector to “cheat” speed traps. I freely admit “cheating.” But have I hurt anyone? I mean, other than the county revenue collector.. and what’s the harm in that?

Of course, the parallel is that if the revenue collector discovers your “cheating,” he will treat you much the same as Beria would. He will do all in his power to make you suffer.

Just as the Justice Department appears determined to do to VW.

In order to teach VW – and everyone else – a lesson. That to defy Uncle is to risk serious consequences. Far more serious consequences than would ensue as a result of actually harmed anyone.

Volkswagen stock is currently rated BBB-plus by S&P, which is three levels above “junk” status. This bodes not well, especially when you factor in that the scandal is metastacizing to include VW’s Audi and Porsche brands, which also sold “cheating” diesels and so will also be subject to the Beria Treatment.

And, meanwhile, affordable, fuel-efficient diesels (which VW alone offered) are history.

GM has announced it will be offering several diesel-powered new models in the coming years. However – unlike VW’s “cheating” diesels – none of them will be inexpensive or economical to buy/operate.

But they will be compliant.

And that’s what matters most.