Skip to main content

What a blessing Elizabeth Warren's election to the Senate has been. She is wasting no time.

At her first hearing in the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee - which took place on Valentine's Day, she lovingly took the regulators to the woodshed. Various regulators from the FDIC, SEC, OCC, CFPB, CFTC, Fed and Treasury were before the Committee and got to experience the newly minted Senator's sweet demeanor which, nevertheless, carries quite a punch.

The hearing was titled "Wall Street Reform: Oversight of Financial Stability and Consumer and Investor Protections."

Sen. Warren's question to the regulators was quite simply: "When was the last time you took a Wall Street bank to trial?" She could not get a straight answer.


"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.

"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,'" Warren said.

Here's the video - enjoy all seven and a half minutes of it:

Sen. Warren then sums it up: "Anyone else want to tell me the last time you took a Wall Street Bank to trial? I just want to note on this, there are District Attorneys and U.S. Attorneys who are 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 am really concerned that Too Big to Fail has become too big for trial! That just seems wrong to me."

This may also have been a reference to Internet activist Aaron Swartz who recently committed suicide after being hounded by federal prosecutors.

We are fortunate to have Elizabeth Warren in the Senate. More of this to come!

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Sharoney, Chris Bowers, Jill, claude, paradox, Ed in Montana, chuck utzman, dwellscho, jec, northsylvania, Bill in Portland Maine, Chi, oofer, filkertom, dragonlady, Odysseus, hester, grollen, RW, slinkerwink, glitterscale, Liberal Thinking, native, Maxlongstreet, dfarrah, Pandora, artr2, emal, RunawayRose, BooMan23, Shockwave, celdd, eeff, Mnemosyne, xynz, elfling, emelyn, MarkInSanFran, exNYinTX, jancw, Radical Faith, Creosote, dweb8231, Heart of the Rockies, onig, Gustogirl, opinionated, missLotus, TracieLynn, whenwego, srkp23, bluesteel, boadicea, Bionic, niterobin, gakke, xopher, JJG Miami Shores, farmerhunt, chimpy, roses, Frederick Clarkson, pedrito, Dhavo, ivote2004, denig, Ignacio Magaloni, itskevin, splashy, bewert, CyberHippy, Cedwyn, Alna Dem, sidnora, abs0628, wader, Texknight, psnyder, TexDem, Dallasdoc, Subversive, Noodles, johanus, Steven Payne, lcrp, dkmich, zerelda, Sembtex, xyz, Emmy, vacantlook, solesse413, llellet, Gowrie Gal, rapala, vcmvo2, ExStr8, Bluesee, radarlady, Treg, ichibon, UncleCharlie, Chinton, chimene, irate, PBen, Militarytracy, ejmw, dewtx, Brooke In Seattle, orson, Unforgiven, FutureNow, ratzo, fixxit, PSzymeczek, majcmb1, flo58, where4art, Overseas, Phil S 33, markdd, Yamara, FindingMyVoice, Alan Arizona, zozie, fhcec, Jim R, Jim P, Showman, Dolphin99, hlee1169, BlueInARedState, Themistoclea, Gorette, Yellow Canary, arlene, fiddler crabby, jguzman17, Rosaura, real world chick, JVolvo, CF Perez, armadillo, Preston S, hlsmlane, onionjim, IL clb, democracy is coming, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, cherryXXX69, kurt, bstotts, sea note, PatConnors, Aaa T Tudeattack, DBunn, One Pissed Off Liberal, tenayaca, fabucat, hooper, peagreen, tgypsy, Debs2, LSophia, ColoTim, gloriana, puakev, glescagal, Wino, david mizner, daveygodigaditch, terabytes, pipsorcle, deepeco, dougdilg, artisan, letsgetreal, bobswern, carpunder, Librarianmom, Wreck Smurfy, Timmethy, bewild, aseth, Assaf, shmuelman, TomP, VA Breeze, mconvente, ferment, Chacounne, scooter in brooklyn, ScottyUrb, Sixty Something, Youffraita, Foundmyvoice, Tchrldy, elwior, brooklynbadboy, Akonitum, Calamity Jean, tofumagoo, royce, jobu, hwmnbn, Hanging Up My Tusks, pademocrat, alnep, mofembot, noddem, Horsefeathers, petulans, James Kresnik, doppler effect, Troubadour, BYw, Nica24, sagansong, sydneyluv, dzog, GrannyOPhilly, statsone, CIndyCasella, savano66, Bule Betawi, pileta, Rhysling, artmartin, Ripeness Is All, J M F, rudewarrior, Old Iowa Liberal, Domestic Elf, don mikulecky, lilsky, Frank Schnittger, Mislead, janmtairy, DefendOurConstitution, smartheart, dRefractor, kravitz, geebeebee, elziax, oxfdblue, mksutherland, bfitzinAR, Lopez99, Cats r Flyfishn, sfarkash, RoCali, mdmslle, Little Flower, jfromga, Livvy5, davespicer, jpmassar, citisven, vtgal, Lefty Ladig, ruscle, Clyde the Cat, smileycreek, p gorden lippy, willynel, eXtina, Susan Grigsby, Observerinvancouver, piers, fidellio, Orlaine, biggiefries, Crabby Abbey, LOrion, Lost and Found, ATFILLINOIS, CrissieP, Eddie L, JoanMar, cordgrass, gulfgal98, pixxer, elginblt, ItsSimpleSimon, Yasuragi, Jaimas, asm121, ffour, Publius2008, roystah, ericlewis0, nosleep4u, rasfrome, slice, Mac in Maine, theKgirls, DB55, Onomastic, praying manatheist, renbear, yellow cosmic seed, madtownpopulist, tosimmonds, spooks51, sabo33, sostos, hooktool, myadestes, FarWestGirl, asterkitty, California06, EquityRoy, futilitismo, molunkusmol, PedalingPete, Haf2Read, zukesgirl64, kendiz, thomask, redacted stew, political mutt, muddy boots, KVoimakas, EagleOfFreedom, Grandma Susie, MRA NY, nogo postal, shevas01, peregrine kate, CorinaR, Daulphin, sound of progress, poliwrangler, VTCC73, rlk, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, stlsophos, jham710, Mentatmark, caryltoo, PrometheusUnbound, No one gets out alive, Laurel in CA, YaNevaNo, livingthedream, absdoggy, ridemybike, hamm, bluezen, wretchedhive, TheLizardKing, stills999, Siri, laurustina, a2nite, Deep Texan, 420 forever, sreeizzle2012, This old man, belinda ridgewood, Leo Flinnwood, Arahahex, Victim of Circumstance, dotdash2u, AZ Sphinx Moth, Robynhood too, ShoshannaD, madcitysailor, Canis Aureus, corpsechorus, Blue Dream, nuclear winter solstice, Chaddiwicker, nomandates, TheMeansAreTheEnd, countwebb, jbob, Thornrose, Neapolitan, dear occupant, goodpractice, weck, gypsytoo, Nautical Knots, GwenM, knitwithpurpose, mindara, howabout, Icicle68, the oklahoma kid, MBishop1, Jason Hackman, OregonWetDog, sfsteach, julesrules39, GloFish, Oldestsonofasailor, Tom Lum Forest, aguadito, Dodgerdog1, sensetolisten, OldSoldier99, Capt Crunch, jcobrien226

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site