Elizabeth Warren - Taking On the Banksters

Steve KinsmanStarred Page By Steve Kinsman, 8th Mar 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/37h6hh1_/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

When Elizabeth Warren speaks, Wall Street trembles.

A true defender of the people

Most United States Senators, the first time they are elected to that illustrious body, settle into the job quietly, and they make few if any waves during the first years they are there. Not Elizabeth Warren, the newly-elected Senator from Massachusetts, who came out of the gate flying.

Last week she grilled Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, about the Obama administration's contention that some banks "are too big to fail." The senator wanted to know "are they also too big to jail?"

Attorney General Eric Holder replied in essence, that, yes, they are too big to jail. The United States Justice Department did not criminally prosecute any banks, Holder said, because the size of the banks "has an inhibiting influence - impact on our ability to bring resolutions that I think would be more appropriate. and I think that is something that we - you all - need to consider."

To which this observer would ask, "Really, Mr. Attorney General. How would sending a top executive, or two or three, to prison, irreparably damage a bank?" The answer of course is that it would not, and Holder's position, then, is ludicrous.

Making witnesses squirm

On the witness stand during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Thursday, March 7, 2013, witnesses fairly squirmed under the relentless probing of Ms. Warren. David S. Cohen, Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence for the United States Treasury Department, said the Treasury Department took money laundering "very seriously blah, blah blah" before Warren excused herself for interrupting him: ..."It's possible to shut down a bank that's been involved in money laundering, individuals can be banned from ever participating in financial services, and people can be sent to prison. Now, in December HSBC...admitted to laundering 881 billion dollars that we know of from Mexican and Colombian drug cartels and also admitted to violating our sanctions...and they didn't do it just one time...they were caught...and kept doing it. HSBC paid a fine but no individual was banned from the bank and there was no hearing to consider shutting down HSBC's activities in the United States. What I'd like is your opinion. How many billions of dollars of drug money do you have to launder...before someone will consider shutting down a bank?"

Cohen fidgeted noticeably in his chair and stammered as he answered that Treasury was "mindful of what it's authorities are" but he immediately passed the buck, saying that the responsibility lies with "other regulators to determine that."

Warren, visibly annoyed, asked "So you have no opinion on that? You sit in Treasury. you try to enforce these laws...and you have n o opinion on when a bank should be shut down for money laundering? Not even an opinion?"

Cohen replied that Treasury and Justice do share opinions on issues like this, but that Treasury gave no opinion on the matter.

Warren's final statement

Warren, in this observer's opinion a veritable breath of fresh air in the Senate, wrapped up her allotted time by concluding that essentially, "too big to fail...means too big to jail." She then pointed out that five years after the financial crisis they caused, banks are still free and clear, are still being subsidized to the tune of 83 billion dollars a year (almost exactly the amount the 'sequester' is pruning from social programs), and that "it is past time to end too big to fail."

"How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords and how many economic sanctions do you have to violate before someone will consider shutting down a financial institution like this?...If you're caught with an ounce of cocaine, chances are good you're gonna go to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life. But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your bed at night - every single individual associated with this. And I think that's fundamentally wrong."

Click on the video below to watch Elizabeth Warren, in her very first committee hearing, in action.

Links: A world Without money is Possible

Capitalism - the Most Grotesque Economic System Ever Devised

Preview photo from sfgate.com
Holder photo from wikimedia commons
Bernanke photo fro Reuters

Tags

Banking, Elizabeth Warren, Hsbc, Opinion, Senate Banking Committee, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Steve Kinsman, Wall Street

Meet the author

author avatar Steve Kinsman
I live in California with my wife Carol, where I have been practicing professional astrology for 35 years. I write articles on astrology, but I enjoy writing on a variety of other subjects as well..

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
8th Mar 2013 (#)

People who make waves force change, good for them for standing up.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
9th Mar 2013 (#)

It would be nice if we could clone Elizabeth Warren and put ninety-nine more in the senate.

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author avatar C.D. Moore
8th Mar 2013 (#)

Great article Steve. Well said for all of us, the 99%

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
9th Mar 2013 (#)

Thank you C. D.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
8th Mar 2013 (#)

yes! great article and thanks for doing this again and again and again...LOL...

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
9th Mar 2013 (#)

Thank you cnwriter.

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author avatar Retired
8th Mar 2013 (#)

Another great article, Steve. :)

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
9th Mar 2013 (#)

Thank you rama devi. :-)

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author avatar Rania, Jamie & Reni
8th Mar 2013 (#)

Dear friend Steve! Elizabeth Warren is a true patriot as well as Bradly Manning, yourself and other fine ladies an gentlemen.

Whereas "David S. Cohen, Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence for the United States Treasury Department" is just another prime example of a man who works and wheels for the foreign power which sits over all economies of the international banker.

- Uthrania Seila

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
9th Mar 2013 (#)

Thank you Uthrania. I appreciate that comment.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
9th Mar 2013 (#)

In truth it would have been better for the bankers to face the ire of this woman , than the wrath of God, one day. There will be no second chance then to put things right . Bless you Steve for keeping us so well informed .
Stella

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
9th Mar 2013 (#)

Thank you Stella. I appreciate your comment.

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author avatar Songbird B
9th Mar 2013 (#)

Such welcome news to hear of someone causing Bankers to worry.. Good on her Steve!

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
9th Mar 2013 (#)

Yes. I agree. Good on her! Thank you Songbird.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
9th Mar 2013 (#)

I believe , Songbird , that their worrying will be short lived when they pocket their bonuses. It has a way of making the real issue look minuscule in comparison . We have to hope that Elizabeth Warren's voice doesn't get silenced .
Bless you
Stella

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
10th Mar 2013 (#)

Elizabeth Warren is a breath of fresh air when many undesirable acts are taken for granted. When law enforcers fail to stand up for common citizens, they fail big time. Easy to go after a small fry, but the real confidence comes only when all are treated equal. Thanks Steve - siva

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
10th Mar 2013 (#)

Indeed she is a breath of fresh air. Thank you Siva.

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author avatar Ptrikha
20th Mar 2013 (#)

Unfortunately, we just have one among thousands of Politicos who take such a stand, and things keep on happening with impunity, and with utter disregard for taxpayers' money and well being of millions of countrymen.

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