It was a tough day Wednesday on Capitol Hill for the captains of the financial industry, and for that you can thank our own sharp-tongued Senator Bernie Sanders, at least in part.
A group of the money men made appearances before the House Banking Committee that Sanders once served on and things didn't go well, even when the bankers tried to apologize for the mess they've made of things.
“You come here today on your bicycles after buying Girl Scout cookies and helping out Mother Teresa,” growled Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass. “You’re saying, ’We’re sorry. We didn’t mean it. We won’t do it again. Trust us.’ I have some people in my (district) who have robbed some of your banks and they say the same thing.”
Ouch. That's gotta hurt.
Sanders, who now sits on the Senate Banking Committee, did not exactly provide a warm welcome to new Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner when Geithner showed up for his own private grilling.
Sanders let Geithner know what he tought of the perceived reluctance of the Obama administration to insist on the removal of people like the head of Goldman Sachs as a pre-condition to receiviing government help.
The exchange, and more, was featured on an ABC News online report that was promptly posted on Sanders' Web site. To read it for yourself, click HERE
“You have a person who made hundreds of millions for himself and he led his institution and helped cause a great financial crisis," Sanders said to Geithner at one point. "We have put as taxpayers $10 billion to bail him out and we have no say as to whether or not he will stay on the job?”
Geithner told Sanders there would be times the government would set "tough conditions" for the management of such companies, but said in Goldman Sach's cases, he expected he would let the company's board of directors make the call.
“We’re not going to fire the leadership?” Sanders fumed. "We’re going to keep these same guys who caused the crisis in power and who made huge sums of money?"
So what do you think? Is it practical to show these guys the door? Will their replacements be any better? And should Geithner and the feds have that kind of power in the first place?
-- Sam Hemingway
-- Sam Hemingway