The Justice Department is currently weighing criminal charges against two European banks, Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas. Lest Wall Street think this isn't serious, Attorney General Eric Holder said explicitly on Monday that no bank is "too big to jail."
The DOJ is closer to securing a guilty plea from Credit Suisse, according to anonymously-sourced reports from The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. Prosecutors are hoping to land a $1 billion settlement in addition to Credit Suisse's guilty plea for helping wealthy Americans evade taxes. The bank, run by CEO Brady Dougan, has not commented on the allegations or a possible settlement. Allegedly, Credit Suisse launched a new subsidiary in Zurich last year called CS International Advisers, which took on "some of the assets and liabilities of Credit Suisse AG, namely the business area, the U.S. Offshore business."
Of course, securing a guilty plea from a major bank is a risk to the economy, and the deal isn't guaranteed. BNP Paribas, a French bank, might end up pleading guilty to violating U.S. economic sanctions in other countries like Iran. The bank faces up to $2 billion in fines, but it's unlikely that it will settle with the DOJ before Credit Suisse does.