Target: Senator Elizabeth Warren
Goal: Commend efforts to speak out against Wall Street and seek sweeping reform
Four years after the second most catastrophic financial collapse in American history, not one Wall Street executive has faced criminal prosecution. Nonetheless, new Democrat incumbent firebrand from Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D), has already made it clear to the American people that she will not let the financial executives and federal regulators most responsible for the crisis get off easy.
Recently, Warren asked federal regulators responsible for safekeeping the banking industry when was the last time they brought a Wall Street bank to trial. None of them could answer her question. As Warren phrased it, have Wall Street’s biggest financial institutions become “too big for trial?”
The housing bubble that preceded the Great Recession had largely been fueled by the greed and recklessness of Wall Street. According to the Levin-Coburn Report, a bi-partisan Congressional report detailing the underlying causes of the collapse, “the crisis was not a natural disaster, but the result of high risk, complex financial products; undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the credit rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street.”
The Justice Department has recently filed a lawsuit against Standards and Poors for fraudulent credit rating practices during the crisis, but all other criminal investigations on the account of Wall Street’s biggest players—whether Goldman Sachs, American International Group, Lehman Brothers, or Countrywide Financial—have been either settled or dropped altogether.
In her first month as Senator, Warren has already formed an independent agency to investigate fraudulent banking practices, questioned top federal regulators about the lack of criminal prosecution of Wall Street banks as a member of the Senate Banking Committee, and invigorated debate about Wall Street reform. For instance, Warren helped develop the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency that writes rules for credit card products, loans, and other banking services. And as a member of the Senate Banking Committee, Warren has the opportunity to introduce reform and hold Wall Street more accountable.
Praise Senator Warren for her advocacy of the middle and lower class. Show Wall Street that it must be reformed and held accountable for its fraud and recklessness.
Dear Elizabeth Warren,
Your tireless work as a consumer advocate and Wall Street reformer has not gone unnoticed. In a period marred by hyper-partisanship and willful ignorance, your advocacy of the middle-class has reassured ordinary Americans that there are still politicians in Washington fighting for their interests—not the interests of Wall Street lobbyists.
Your questioning of federal regulators on February 14th concerning the lack of criminal prosecution of the banking industry has underscored the sort of accountability and reform Wall Street needs. The irresponsibility and recklessness of Wall Street needs to be addressed. Your focus on consumer advocacy and Wall Street reform has revitalized forward-thinking discourse.
Thank you for your hard work and tireless advocacy of the middle class. It’s comforting to know that there are still politicians in Washington working for ordinary Americans. Please continue your efforts to expose, reform, and prosecute the Wall Street executives whose reckless actions have affected so many American lives.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons