Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Wells Fargo's Gutless Leadership-- America Needs More Elizabeth Warrens, Fewer Richard Shelbys and Sean Duffys


This morning, the Senate Banking Committee questioned Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf about his company's on-going fraud scandal. There are 12 Republicans and 10 Democrats on the committee. 15 of them have taken over $2 million each in bribes from the banksters since beginning their careers in federal government. With the possible exception of Sherrod Brown, none of these people, regardless of party, should be the investigators or questioners. Each should be investigated and questioned for taking bribes from the industry they're supposed to be providing oversight. In what kind of a world are the men and women charged with overseeing notoriously dangerous, corrupt and predatory organizations permitted to take huge sums of money from those organizations without it being called bribery? Oh, right... Congress makes it's own laws to exempt it's own criminal behavior. Today's bad boys and girls:
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)- $25,985,466
Richard Shelby (R-AL)- $8,381,858
Mark Kirk (R-IL)- $8,292,205
Pat Toomey (R-PA)- $7,836,839
Mark Warner (D-VA)- $7,435,011
Bob Menendez (D-NJ)- $7,394,196
Bob Corker (R-TN)- $6,960,902
Mike Crapo (R-ID)- $4,232,624
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)- $3,978,463
Jack Reed (D-RI)- $3,943,745
Tim Scott (R-SC)- $3,562,469
Jon Tester (D-MT)- $3,375,761
David Vitter (R-LA)- $3,140,394
Tom Cotton (R-AR)- $2,933,026
Dean Heller (R-NV)- $2,809,897
Jerry Moran (R-KS)- $2,110,258
And these are the senators on the Committee who have taken money directly from Wells Fargo itself this year, starting with, always the most corrupt man in Washington (who hid in the bathroom for the first half of meeting and didn't have much to say when he finally made his appearance):
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)- $42,900
Pat Toomey (R-PA)- $29,050
Mike Crapo (R-ID)- $25,000
Richard Shelby (R-AL)- $15,800
Mark Kirk (R-IL)- $13,700
Tim Scott (R-SC)- $10,500
Jerry Moran (R-KS)- $9,000
Tom Cotton (R-AR)- $5,000
Jon Tester (R-MT)- $4,000
Ben Sasse (R-NE)- $3,500
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)- $3,000
Dean Heller (R-NV)- $2,500
Bob Corker (R-TN)- $2,500
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)- $2,000
They should have all either returned the money or recused themselves, perhaps joined the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The senators on the Banking Committee who didn't take any bribes from Wells Fargo's PAC this cycle were Democrats Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Jack Reed, Bob Menendez, Mark Warner, Joe Donnelly and Republicans David Vitter and Mike Rounds. If you were watching, you may have noticed that Warren and Merkley were the two most serious and effectve questioners of the day.

As Chairman Shelby made clear right from the get-go, the Republican strategy was to try to blame as much as he possibly could on the CFPB. You remember then-- the agency that uncovered the mess at Wells Fargo and fined them $185 million. The crooked senators like Chairman Shelby who take such massive bribes from the banksters would never have ever even have been holding a hearing today if not for the CFPB. And, funny enough, fairly early on, ex-banker Pat Toomey (R-PA) undermined the GOP strategy by pointedly questioning Strumpf about fraud and pointing out that thousands of employees couldn't have independently discovered how to open fake accounts on their own and that the the scale of the massive enterprise was a sign that there was some coordination at the top. Tomboy wanted to know why it wasn't disclosed in Wells' SEC filings, since it adversely impacted the value of the company.

The first Democrat to speak was Ranking Member Sherrod Brown, who would have been set to become committee chair next year had Schumer not screwed up DSCC recruiting by insisting that only Wall Street-friendly candidates would be acceptable. Brown made the point that Wells Fargo's top executives threw terrorized and pressured low-level, low paid employees under the bus while protecting the high-level, high-paid executives who terrorized them and pressured them into preying on Wells Fargo's customers. He also pointed out that now that the CFPB has been investigating the bank, Wells Fargo has been refunding the illicit fees they had been charging but in the years preceding the CFPB investigation, requests for refunds from savvy customers who realized the bank was robbing their accounts, were ignored.

Stumpf said he was sorry and would accept full responsibility, although full responsibility doesn't mean he's resigning or committing hari-kari or giving back any of the tens of millions of dollars that were his share of the fraud scheme. Watch Elizabeth Warren's question of Stumpf in the video above.

Unlike the majority of his colleagues, Jeff Merkley doesn't sell his votes and duties on the committee to the banksters. Strumpf must have dreaded the fact that his turn was approaching. Merkley has been demanding a serious SEC investigation-- under Mary Jo White there is nothing serious about the SEC, Obama's little kissy-poo to the banksters that gave him so much money in his campaigns-- of Wells Fargo's fraudulent, criminal behavior and the scam perpetrated on their customers. "The next chair of the SEC," said Merkley, "must be a proven reformer, not another defender of the status quo."

Even Wall Street kiss-ass, Bob Corker (R-TN) agreed with Merkley and Warren that top executives must be made to reurn the lavish bonuses they "earned" by perpetrating the fraud."To not invoke some degree of clawback for yourself and others," he told Stumpf, "would be malpratice, at least from a public relations standpoint." Yeah, it looks bad-- and it looks bad for the members of Congress who took the huge Wells Fargo bribes and not just the senators mentioned above but also the House members who have been sucking at Wells Fargo's teat this year. These are the dozen worst of the House crooks:
Erk Paulsen (R-MN)- $25,625
Kathleen Rice (New Dem-NY)- $15,000
Keith Rothfus (R-PA)- $14,800
French Hill (R-AR)- $14,150
Patrick McHenry (R-NC)- $14,100
Ann Wagner (R-MO)- $13,900
Bob Dold (R-IL)- $13,650
David Young (R-IA)- $13,500
Paul Ryan (R-WI)- $13,125
Sean Duffy (R-WI)- $12,500
Ed Royce (R-CA)- $12,500
Eric Swalwell (D-CA)- $11,575
Most for them are on the profoundly corrupt House Financial Services Committee and, in fact, sleazy little shit Sean Duffy is the chairman of the committee's oversight and investigations subcommittee. Needless to say, it wasn't Duffy who bit the hand that feeds:

No Republicans bit the hand that feeds at the hearing

If his committee ever investigates Wells Fargo, the script is already predetermined. The only thing the House Financial Services Committee has tried to accomplish-- and is still trying to accomplish-- is to gut the CFPB, something Trump has promised to help them with if he's elected.

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At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Warren just signed with the other 87 Senators AIPAC's Israel Get Out Of Jail Free Card.

We don't need more Warrens.

At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ 4:15PM


What about the other 13?
Were there any actual "no" votes?
If so, we need about 300 more of her/him/them.

John Puma

At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always surprising how little money it takes for these congress critters to get bought off.

Kim Kaufman

At 4:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Warren is amazing. If only Congress were filled with others like her, this country would be on a far different, and much better, path. Watching the video of the Wells Fargo chair is sickening. These guys are all the same. They have a respectable air but speak with slime and are criminals. They never answer questions directly. They have psychopathic and narcissistic tendencies just like Trump. Unfortunately Congress is filled with such men.

My friend's son is a lawyer specializing in white collar crime for a top firm in Manhattan. He has said he works in a "growth industry." How sad. If Trump gets in, our entire government will stand for white collar crime - those in office will have the sole shared aim of enriching themselves, to the detriment of most Americans and democracy.

At 6:31 AM, Blogger jvb2718 said...

...um... ok... but... where... may I humbly ask... is the call for the AG/DOJ to indict a bunch of them sumbitches for... you know... actual crimes... like fraud and theft (millions stolen from customers who were defrauded) and such?????????????????

I see that the CFPB did a nice job... this one time... but these are FUCKING CRIMES.

And can someone chase down all those dozens/hundreds of poor hapless schmucks who were fired for NOT going along with the CRIMES... and have them please file a class action suit and make W-F pay big for unlawful firing?????? And ask them why the hell nobody came forward to the DOJ or any state AGs with those crimes when they were known????

And why isn't anyone SCREAMING at the public with the latest proof of the incestuous relationship between banking, this latest one just the ONE bank, and government which immunizes individuals who COMMIT CRIMES against any sort of legal redress?????????

And why isn't anyone in the public SCREAMING for these motherfuckers to be prosecuted???????

Am I the only one?

You know... if people are free to commit crimes without any kind of punishment (fines are paid by the stockholders, not the principals), we might as well just quit the charade of voting and just let the CEOs tell us who the next prez, senators, reps and cabinet members will be... it'd save us all a lot of time and money and make the whole pile of shit more... honest.

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, to illustrate just how effing stupid americans are... how few account holders at W-F will close out and do business elsewhere? I'm guessing that number will be less than 1 percent of 1 percent of the total account holders.

Cuz americans are colossally stupid.


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