U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at a news conference at the Justice Department  in Washington

Attorney General Eric Holder is in the middle of a prosecuting binge against some of the world’s biggest companies. Washington’s attempt to bring such large corporations to justice is long overdue.

Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street protesters were furious that financial executives who brought the world to the brink of penury in 2008 paid no price for their reckless behavior. The anger became widespread when the U.S. justice system seemed incapable of bringing culpable individuals and companies to account.

Now a number of large firms are finally being forced to face the music and this notion of whether a company can be “too big to jail” is being tested. Last month, General Motors agreed to a fine of $35 million for failing to respond soon enough to faulty vehicle ignitions that contributed to the deaths of 74 drivers.

Financial institution representatives are sworn in before testifying at the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearing on Capitol Hill in WashingtonProsecutions of other corporations are in the works — including the culmination of the investigation into fixing the LIBOR interbank overnight rate.

Last month, too, Credit Suisse acknowledged its part in a criminal attempt to hide its American depositors’ cash from the U.S. federal tax authorities and agreed to pay a $2.5 billion fine.