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Elizabeth Warren Eviscerates Regulators: Why Do Feds Prosecute People But Not Banks?

by David Badash on February 15, 2013

in Economics,News,Politics

Post image for Elizabeth Warren Eviscerates Regulators: Why Do Feds Prosecute People But Not Banks?

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren yesterday eviscerated federal bank regulators, demanding answers to questions like, “When was the last time you took a Wall Street bank to trial?”

Warren after several minutes of questioning regulators, who are locked in an unacceptable mindset that, as Warren exposed, enables not regulates the fraudulent activities of many banks, made this statement:

“There are district attorneys and United States attorneys out there every day squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds and taking them to trial in order to make an example, as they put it. I’m really concerned that ‘too big to fail’ has become ‘too big for trial.’”

“The Democratic senator from Massachusetts had a straightforward question for them: When was the last time you took a Wall Street bank to trial? It was a harder question than it seemed,” the Huffington Post reports:

“We do not have to bring people to trial,” Thomas Curry, head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, assured Warren, declaring that his agency had secured a large number of “consent orders,” or settlements.

“I appreciate that you say you don’t have to bring them to trial. My question is, when did you bring them to trial?” she responded.

“We have not had to do it as a practical matter to achieve our supervisory goals,” Curry offered.

Warren turned to Elisse Walter, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who said that the agency weighs how much it can extract from a bank without taking it to court against the cost of going to trial.

“I appreciate that. That’s what everybody does,” said Warren, a former Harvard law professor. “Can you identify the last time when you took the Wall Street banks to trial?”

“I will have to get back to you with specific information,” Walter said as the audience tittered.

A Warren constituent, open-Internet activist Aaron Swartz, recently committed suicide after being hounded by federal prosecutors who reportedly said they wanted to “make an example” of him. Warren had met and said she admired Swartz and, after he died, expressed her concern by attending his memorial in Washington.

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{ 1 comment }

Huntercgo February 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Gee — a Senator who actually asks hard questions — and expects an answer.

Where will it all end?

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