Taxes

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Wants Answers About Big Bank Accountability

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is requesting answers about fiscal responsibility from top-tiered government officials regarding the prosecution of Wall Street banks.

The gutsy freshman Senator introduced legislation to the floor last week that would offer students the same interest rates on their loans that big banks get from the government. Currently, banks can borrow money with only .75 percent interest rate while students must pay upwards of 7 percent.

Now, Warren sent letters to the heads of three federal agencies in an effort to highlight the favoritism the government shows big Wall Street banks.

The letters were sent to Attorney General Eric Holder, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake, asking if they had conducted research about the costs or benefits of prosecuting big banks rather than settling with them after misdealing are uncovered. Warren equated settlements as a simple slap on the wrist for big financial institutions and expressed her interest in prosecuting irresponsible banks.

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Have you conducted any internal research or analysis on trade-offs to the public between settling an enforcement action without admission of guilt and going forward with litigation as necessary to obtain such admission and, if so, can you provide that analysis to my office?" Warren asked in the letter.

Warren is a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and on Feb. 14, during her first hearing she blatantly asked the representatives of federal agencies, When was the last time you took a Wall Street bank to trial?

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the independent bank regulator within the Treasury Department, responded to Warren’s question last week that they have not conducted any research about the trade-off of settling with banks or prosecuting them.

"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.

Sources: Huffington Post, Politico