It Is Impossible for Banks to Lose Their License

Elizabeth Warren is seen here interrogating David Cohen from the United States Department of the Treasury and Jerome H. Powell from the Federal Reserve System.  Neither of these two agencies is responsible for criminal investigations.  However, Elizabeth makes it clear that she is not asking about their responsibilities but rather their opinions on whether a bank that has knowingly repeatedly laundered drug money should face criminal prosecution.

Elizabeth Warren was unfortunately stuck in Ben Bernanke's organization not allowing her to accomplish anything.  Then she became a bit more aggressive as Senator.  But this video of Elizabeth grilling regulators is quite revealing about how easy it is for people in powerful positions, whether in government or the corporate world, to get away with murder (or in this case, laundering of drug money).  This really shows how the system is designed to make it difficult to go after anyone.  Elizabeth needs to interrogate someone from the Justice Department.

In the first two minutes of the above video one gets the feeling Elizabeth feels like Brooksley Born trying to get some criminals to be held accountable but is surrounded by people that do not want that to happen.  We see two guys giving her the run around for six minutes, after which, Elizabeth's time is up.  It is kind of hard to tell whether this is all a performance for the public or these guys are so adept at these hearings that they know how to use time in their favor.  Elizabeth may want to shorten the length of her questions in the future.  She does a good job of cutting off both David and Jerome when they start to stray from what she asked them, but there is only so much one can do with such limited time at one's disposal.

Aside from the time issue, what is most frustrating is this whole "it is not our authority to do this, and I cannot speak on behalf of another agency" bullshit.  Funny how when it comes to regular people getting arrested every single minute of every single day agencies have no problem springing into action.  Albeit the David and Jerome are regulators and have no criminal jurisdiction, but why could they not give their opinion on criminal prosecution?  Does that not strike anyone as odd?  So the agency that regulates the banks (Federal Reserve System) does not even attempt to pull a license until after another agency (Justice Department) files criminal charges.  So even when the Federal Reserve System has identified that a particular bank has participated in criminal activity they continue to allow them to do business because of a technicality in their code.  How wonderful it would be if we could also have these procedures apply to us.



Profile photo of photog17photog17
March 8th, 2013  12:09 PM

We’re beating a dead horse here. And I’m afraid, we’re the dead horse.

Profile photo of blybly
March 8th, 2013  1:35 PM

You guys are too hard on Elizabeth. Give her some time.