Here we go again. When FDR and Congress severely limited the activities of financial institutions during the depression, it killed jobs, raised the cost of borrowing money, and extended the duration and depth of the Great Depression. Apparently, the Obama administration simply doesn't understand the hard lessons of history, and is utterly wed to the false premise that the government must appear to be doing something to false enemies so as to give the false hope that whatever it does will somehow help lift the economy. In reality, the government should suspend the collection of income taxes for a year, encourage savings, and leave the free market the hell alone. Then, the GDP will soar and unemployment will sink like a rock.
FBI agents, posing as foreign government officials, sought bribes from American arms merchants. The merchants apparently paid the bribes, thinking they were greasing the skids for the sale of arms to the governments with which they thought they were dealing. In reality, the "bribes" were paid to the FBI agent/actors, all on tape. Question: Were any crimes committed? If you define "crime" as "harm to society," a 600 year-old universally accepted western definition, then there was no crime. If you define "crime" as "whatever the government says it is," then these merchants are in trouble. Clearly, no real "bribes" were paid, no sales of arms in the basis of bribes were made, and no one (except the arms merchants) was harmed. Oh, and they guy who orchestrated all this is Lanny Breuer, a former white collar criminal defense attorney who railed against these stings when they ensnared his clients. But now he's number three in the Department of Justice, so he gets to do what he formerly condemned. Question: How does the government decide who to set up? Answer: Whoever it wants to go after at the moment.