Ever since Elizabeth Warren went from financial regulatory crusader to Senator from Massachusetts, Wall Street’s been wondering what she would do with her new power.Then she got appointed to Senate Banking Committee, and that was a serious clue.
Now, at the first Banking Committee hearing of the year, she’s totally grilling the bureaucrats testifying on Wall Street reform, so you can forget about clues, all you need to do is read.
Her first question was pretty simple, and directed at interim SEC Chairwoman, Elisse Waterman. Why, she asked, aren’t more bank executives in jail?
“There are District Attorneys… squeezing ordinary people all over the United States…. Why aren’t bank CEOs in jail?… I’m really concerned that too big to fail has become to big for trial.”
Her second question could be as much for bank CEOs as it Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo. “Why are big all these big banks trading below book value,” Warren asked.
“I can only think of two reasons, she added.” First she mused that it was possible no one believes that bank books are honest. The second reason she considered is that no one — not the banks, and not the regulators — believe that banks are manageable.
Tarullo added that investors are likely sceptical as well.
So that’s how things are going to go, people.
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