Elizabeth Warren Wants To Know If The Banksters Are Too Big For Trial
Last year over 800 Blue America contributors put up some money for Elizabeth Warren's campaign for the Senate. As you know, she ousted the incumbent, Wall Street shill Scott Brown. This week was her first opportunity to question witnesses from her new position on the Senate Banking Committee. I think if you chipped in-- or even just rooted for her-- you'll be proud of Senator Warren's first official indication of what her job performance is going to be like for the next six years. There's a new sheriff in town! And the worst nightmare of the predator banksters is coming true. Banksters are still reeling from her impertinent questions.
Listen (above) to her simple, straightforward, common sense questions to a gaggle of befuddled "regulators" picked to work and play amicably with the banksters. How many of us have wondered why none of the thieving, corrupt banksters are rotting in prison. But, until now, "us" did not include senators.
“Americans," wrote Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone, "have long understood that the rich get good lawyers and get off, while the poor suck eggs and do time. But this is something different. This is the government admitting to being afraid to prosecute the very powerful-- something it never did even in the heydays of Al Capone or Pablo Escobar, something it didn’t do even with Richard Nixon. And when you admit that some people are too important to prosecute, it’s just a few short steps to the obvious corollary-- that everybody else is unimportant enough to jail.” Matt thinks we, as a society, ought to find out how HSBC hooked up with drug traffickers and terrorists-- and our "regulators" let them off scott free after they were caught. Elizabeth Warren is the senator who will do just that.
"They violated every goddamn law in the book," says Jack Blum, an attorney and former Senate investigator who headed a major bribery investigation against Lockheed in the 1970s that led to the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. "They took every imaginable form of illegal and illicit business."Yesterday a new poll of the Senate race in Massachusetts came out. It shows progressive Congressman Ed Markey beating conservative Congressman Stephen Lynch, 38-31%. Senator Warren has asked us to give her Markey as a partner in the Senate. While Lynch has distinguished himself as an anti-Choice fanatic who thrives on playing footsie with Republicans, Markey has been the leader on environmental issues in Congress, one of the few elected reps who understands fully the existential importance of dealing with Climate Change.
That nobody from the bank went to jail or paid a dollar in individual fines is nothing new in this era of financial crisis. What is different about this settlement is that the Justice Department, for the first time, admitted why it decided to go soft on this particular kind of criminal. It was worried that anything more than a wrist slap for HSBC might undermine the world economy. "Had the U.S. authorities decided to press criminal charges," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer at a press conference to announce the settlement, "HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking license in the U.S., the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilized."
It's early in the 2014 election cycle but we want to let you know that Blue America already has a Senate page up. There are three candidates on it now, two incumbents who have done spectacular jobs since being elected in 2008, Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Al Franken (D-MN), and one challenger, Ed Markey, who has been enthusiastically endorsed by John Kerry and Elizabeth Warren.
The hidebound Senate tends to be a worthless waste of time. When you see members like Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Al Franken, and Bernie Sanders in action on behalf of working families and American values, you see the potential for turning that around. Ed Markey has proven that's the team he'll be playing on. If you can, please consider contributing to his campaign.