Tuesday, September 20, 2016

"The only way Wall Street will change is if executives face jail time"

Big business and big government all too often seem on the same team, sharing a common love for big payouts, first-class perks and generous expense accounts. But it's an election year, so  someone decided to show a little muscle. 
Click here to watch US Senator Elizabeth Warren take down the Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo in an epic confrontation. 
Wells Fargo staff have been accused of opening illegal accounts for their customers to boost their own bonuses for cross-selling multiple products to customers. Well's apparent cross-selling success made Wall Street investors suck up the stock - except that much of it was fuelled by deceit and greed.
So today she took after Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf in an attempt to hold him accountable for the misdeeds that took place on his watch.  She concluded that "You should resign... and you should be criminally investigated." 
Here are some highlights from her summation:
"Here's what really gets me about this, Mr. Stumpf. If one of your tellers took a handful of $20 bills out of the crash drawer, they'd probably be looking at criminal charges for theft. They could end up in prison.
"But you squeezed your employees to the breaking point so they would cheat customers and you could drive up the value of your stock and put hundreds of millions of dollars in your own pocket.
"And when it all blew up, you kept your job, you kept your multi-multi-million-dollar bonuses, and you went on television to blame thousands of $12-an-hour employees who were just trying to meet cross-sell quotas that made you rich.
"This is about accountability. You should resign. You should give back the money that you took while this scam was going on, and you should be criminally investigated by both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. This just isn't right."
Warren concluded by saying, "The only way that Wall Street will change is if executives face jail time when they preside over massive frauds." 

Let's hope this public scourging drives change at Wells Fargo. And the rest of Wall Street.
New Management Welcome.