Senator Elizabeth Warren Stymies Regulators With a Simple Question (VIRAL VIDEO)
Wall Street wishes it never happened.
The above clip of Massachusetts freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren posing a simple question to bank regulators this past week has been viewed more than 1 million times, putting it on track to become the consumer advocate’s most-viral video hit to-date.
It was Warren’s first foray on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
The question that flummoxed the bank regulators: When was the last time you took a Wall Street bank to trial?
Heartbreaking and hilarious side-stepping ensued:
“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.
Warren asked if any of the other regulators, representing the alphabet soup of the FDIC, SEC, OCC, CFTC, the Fed, the Treasury and the newly minted Consumer Financial Protection Board, could answer the very simple question.
None could. In fact, no one even tried.
“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, ” Warren said. I’m really concerned that ‘too big to fail’ has become ‘too big for trial,’” she added.
Wall Street responded angrily to Warren’s questioning– denouncing the senator and suggesting that she would lose “credibility” if she continued interrogating regulators in such a way.
Wall Street and its Fed regulators certainly got more than they bargained for.
The financial regulators can blame those very same angry Wall Street lobbyists, along with outgoing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and
Senate Republicans for their embarrassing turn at the hearing– with the event going viral for all to see.
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