Feds Let Whale Off the Hook, Settle for Minnows Instead

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.