Elizabeth Warren Wants Big Banks To Face The Same Prosecution And Jail As Citizens


Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) continues to take no prisoners (though she’d like to make some) as she, once again, stands up to the Big Banks and fights for the people.

On Tuesday, Warren sent a letter to Eric Holder (Attorney General), Mary Jo White (SEC Chair), and Ben Bernanke (Federal Reserve Chairman), demanding answers. Why are Big Banks able to avoid full prosecution for violating federal law?

Warren is requesting that the above government institutions turn over their internal research on large banks for public record. She wants to know why big banks are able to pay a fine and walk “without admission of guilt,” when everyday citizens face full-scale prosecution/jail for their crimes.

Elizabeth Warren:

“…I believe very strongly that if a regulator reveals itself to be unwilling to take large financial institutions all the way to trial — either because it is too timid or because it lacks resources — the regulator has a lot less leverage in settlement negotiations and will be forced to settle on terms that are much more favorable to the wrongdoer.The consequence can be insufficient compensation to those who are harmed by illegal activity and inadequate deterrence of future violations. If large financial institutions can break the law and accumulate millions in profits and, if they get caught, settle by paying out of those profits, they do not have much incentive to follow the law.”

This country has a big problem when settlements between the government and the nation’s largest banks are being made after banks have foreclosed on people without just cause, and laundered money to repressive regimes, drug cartels and terrorists.

The U.S. government dispersed $16 trillion dollars in massive bank bailouts between 2007 and 2011, when we pulled them out of turmoil and possible demise. Yet few banks have faced any criminal charges. In fact, most banks are thriving, while the average American has faced great financial stability deprivation.

Enter one of the infamous financial schemers of all time, Bernie Madoff, who defrauded clients (mainly wealthy) of a reported $64.8 billion. In 2011, from jail, Madoff said many of his former Wall Street colleagues engaged in criminal insider trading on a regular basis. (I imagine they still do). Madoff told New York Magazine earlier this year that he couldn’t believe so few have faced criminal convictions.

Madoff says, “The whole new (government) regulatory reform is a joke.”

All the more reason to be grateful we have someone as strong and relentless as Senator Warren, on our side. She has been in the news several times the past two months while fighting against Big Banks,  fighting for Social Security, and fighting for college students.

In essence, Elizabeth Warren is fighting for the American citizens. Again we thank you, Senator.

(The author, Leslie Salzillo, is an activist, political commentator, diarist and visual artist. Salzillo often writes diaries in Daily Kos, and began contributing to AddictingInfo.org in March 2013).