Elizabeth Warren Confronts Eric Holder, Ben Bernanke And Mary Jo White On Too-Big-To-Jail

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Elizabeth Warren is one of the few Senators out there pushing to understand why the federal government has created an untouchable class of criminals in America that can do whatever they want whenever they want and, not only get away with it, but also get bailed out when they make mistakes.  In case you missed it, I highlighted a powerful video a few months ago in which she made regulators squirm when confronted on “too big to jail.”  Now she has written a letter to Ben Bernanke, Eric Holder and Mary Jo White.  My favorite line is:

“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.”

Indeed, which is why they don’t.  Full letter embedded below.

Warren Letter

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GoinFawr's picture

No, it's not 'when in doubt', it's 'when it's reasonable', it only seems that way  to you because there is so very much blind anitpathy towards absolutely anything successful that results from people getting together and making what are, for the most part, voluntary decisions expressed though a fair, transparent state operated agent. 

I understand the sentiment of distrust towards such institutions prevalent here; most ZH'ers are under the thumb of a plutocracy that is neither transparent, nor remotely voluntary or fair, but barely attempts to masquerade as all of them at once. Not to mention the conditioning they are subjected to from birth that encourages them to polarize any issue, no matter how trivial, or distracting (eg. gay marriage)

This system employs the rhetoric of the ideal, yet practices a facist opposite. But because the unending indoctrination has managed through repitition to co opt the semantics, reflexes kick in on key words, regardless of their actual meaning. And so these populations, rabidly chasing the 'me first and the gimme gimme' lifestyle'  they have been trained to pursue and respect, are easily divided and conquered (or, alternately whipped into a fearful frenzy) by false threats to their 'freedoms'. Even if they are already essentially slaves. In fact they are innately aware of their slavery, but deny it out of tortured desperation, and look to blame anything handy for it. Guess who stands ready with the scapegoats...

Whereas the people of Norway don't seem to give two shits about the labels, and so have managed to strike a largely accepted (by them) balance between the absolutes the ideal represent; as decency and reality dictate.

I don't agree at all with your implication that to organise and compromise is contrary to human nature. It is part of the essence of it, equally important to our success as a species as our inherent spirit of competition. We are as much interdependent social beings as we are individuals; just throw someone who has been in solitary confinement for six months into an office party situation, and you'll see what I mean right smartly. And if you've ever seen the size of the predators that used to roam around 50,000 years ago when we were smaller, and armed with nothing but pointed sticks.... this tendency to seek companionship still serves the same crucial purposes today, as does our desire to be unique. We are hard wired for both.  But to deny one or the other impulse is unnatural, and results in the sick, twisted self serving sneering bastard meritocrats of convenience that infest ZH (because they have allowed half of what is best about humanity to be stripped from them in pursuit of an imaginary state of absolutely unconditional 'liberty')

"...maybe even site some data saying that Norwegians dig it for the most part"

But the WHO compiles stats from health care professionals and patients everywhere, it's their business... you would prefer anecdotes? The problem with that is it is just as simple to find a site with anecdotes that say the exact opposite. Can we trust no expert, ever?

On state sponsored coercion: this is where the other side of the 'voluntary, for the most part' comes in. The fact is that some individuals are born without consciences, others have had them stripped from them one way or another. These people have to be coerced to behave, as they constantly seek to destroy decency. So, unless you think the world would be a better place where everyone (including them) gets to decide whether or not someone 'needed killin' I'm afraid that even in the most free societies there is going to be required state sponsored force monitored by diligent civil oversight.

I mean, even most die hard libertarians will concede that they expect the state to uphold their private property rights, damned 'statists'.

akak's picture

Did you say something?

All I gleaned from a reading of Chapter #454 of your verbal diarrhea was "State good, free market bad.  Coercion good, voluntary association bad." 

You consistently fail to realize that the essence of governmental action and control, EVERYWHERE AND ALWAYS, is force and coercion.  I don't give a flying fuck if you believe that by some twisted personal measure of your own that it "works". 

Coercion as an organizing principle of society is NEVER efficient, and never justified.  Period.

GoinFawr's picture

"All I gleaned from a reading of Chapter #454 of your verbal diarrhea was "State good, free market bad.  Coercion good, voluntary association bad."

That's ok okok. I was replying to Indypat, but feel free to jump right in, arms all akimbo. English is tough as a second language? Try reading it again, and pay attention to the actual words this time, as opposed to focusing all your hate on who wrote them.

Uncle Remus's picture

What exactly is "world class healthcare"? And who determines it is a "service", much less essential?

GoinFawr's picture

Regarding Norway?

As far a the WHO is concerned healthcare in Norway is in the top ten at a cost per capita far less than the US.

Norwegians determine that it is an essential service.


Uncle Remus's picture

Regarding anywhere.

Good for the Norwegians. I'm not Norwegian, nor do I live in Norway.

MY point is who determines what world class healthcare is? Seems an awful lot of people want everyone else to offset their respective medical costs and the taxpayer get stuck footing the bill for some nebulous "world class healthcare".


People can't afford healthcare BECAUSE of insurance and sick-care for profit. Don't mistake my "for profit" slam as support for socialized medicine, it is not. Bottom line, Obamacare is the use of force by the state to extract healthcare dollars from young healthy people that otherwise would likely not spend money on "insurance" or any other healthcare that wasn't necessary. THAT is, at best, a tangential matter to exorbitant medical costs.

Fucking socialists.


GoinFawr's picture

"Good for the Norwegians. I'm not Norwegian, nor do I live in Norway."

Interesting, I hear that sort of 'I'm the centre of the universe and any ideas that do not emanate directly from my perspective are foreign and to be discounted without due consideration'  all the time.

My point is: It's a big world out there, honest. Good ideas can come from almost anywhere, just like the bad ones.

"MY point is who determines what world class healthcare is"

I used the WHO's standard, which I consider expert. Perhaps you have a better gauge to measure healthcare by?

"Bottom line, Obamacare is the use of force by the state to extract healthcare dollars from young healthy people that otherwise would likely not spend money on "insurance" or any other healthcare that wasn't necessary"

Oh I get it: you're an invincible; born not only wholly independent but prepared for every exigency. Congratulations.

Don't try to conflate Obamacare with the Norwegian health care system, they aren't the same thing by a country mile, and not just because one is so much more cost effective than the other. Bullshit indeud.

Fucking useful idiots.

Uncle Remus's picture

Seriously, that's your flaccid rebuttal?

Where did I say the Norwegian solution was a bad idea?

So, from your perspective WHO is an expert on what constitutes any class of healthcare for the whole planet. Well, that's just wonderful.

"Oh I get it: you're an invincible; born not only wholly independent but prepared for every exigency. Congratulations." This is the same bullshit as conflating smaller government and lower taxes with no running water, paved roads, police and fire departments.

I'm a small business owner of extremely modest means with my share of ailments befitting my age group. I will die, that is a given. To think that it is OK to extort money from a younger healthy generation to throw good money after bad to feed the vanity and mortality denial of the Boomer generation (of which I am a member) is beyond the pale. Big Medicine sees this opportunity to pull demand forward while the pulling AND money is good.

Healthcare ("world class" or otherwise) is first and foremost a conscious and considered choice by a society, not by the threat of prison and most assuredly not by some pompous fuck with no skin in the game, either in Congress or some PhDouche on the other side of the world. I don't know much about Norway's solution, but I'd guess it was a conscious and considered choice by an educated society that knew going in the costs and benefits. The US had to pass the goddamn bill first to find out what was in it.

Put something on the table that isn't rife with corruption, favoritism, special exceptions, especially Congress, doesn't benefit one class at the expense of another and isn't just a corporate welfare in disguise and we might have something to talk about. But then, we're still faced with the conscious consideration, something that has alluded the American voter for a few generations it seems.

Until then, you're just a fucking useless socialist idiot.

GoinFawr's picture

"Where did I say the Norwegian solution was a bad idea?"

Glad to hear you think Norway's healthcare delivery system is such a good idea. I admit I didn't get that impression at all from your previous vehement screed (or this last one, for that matter). Silly me. Also, how is it not something I've 'put on the table'? Did I say I supported Obamacare? No, I advised you not to confuse it with Norway's system.

"So, from your perspective WHO is an expert on what constitutes any class of healthcare for the whole planet. Well, that's just wonderful"

I'll ask again: any better suggestion for reference to a standard?  You seem to think doctorates are handed out like candy in the medical professions. Please point me in the direction of an expert you will trust. 

"This is the same bullshit as conflating smaller government and lower taxes with no running water, paved roads, police and fire departments." 

Now it's my turn: Where did I say that? The only gov't in North America to successfully run 17  consecutive surplus budgets introduced single payer health care to its population, the very model Norway adopted, and you apparently like so much.

Deliverator's picture

So... the investigation and prosecution of frauds perpetrated by coroporations falls under the umbrella of 'growing government' in your mind?

rhinoblitzing's picture

Having a new idea to make the world a better place, creating jobs, and literally risking life and fortune; is not the same as being voted CEO of a publicly traded company and being compensated 10,000 times the average employee that is being downsized to produce quarterly earnings that ensure a bigger bonus.

The small business owner and entrepreneur must have an incentive and be entitled to harvest the fruits of the hard labor and risk they take. Something an employee, or public servant will never know.

Its easy to sign the back of a check - try to imagine signing the front of the payroll checks and all that that implies.

GMadScientist's picture

Owners do not create jobs. DEMAND does, and nothing else.

Try doing all the labor yourself, if signing that check is sooooo hard.

Dealyer Turdin's picture

In trades, skills create demand, proximity creates demand, employees create disasters, headaches, and hecka profits if you can keep the show on the road.  Most owners are so psychologically different from their employees, anyone with experience with both doesn't ever wonder who is who.  And, owners, are up against a state that needs to suck every fluid they can get without putting the owners on life-support.  Also known as a parasite, last I checked. 

   Demand is there, but it is based on fixed income, and tight budgets.  Tradesmen are trying to keep nest egg sized structures viable using backwards-compatible methodologies.  When you see Homeowner's associations interfaced with rotting buildings, insurance companies, and building codes, demand, is more like whimper.  Trust me on this.

Uncle Remus's picture

In trades, demand creates the need for people with skills. You can have mad skills, but if no one is buying...

"Most owners are so psychologically different from their employees" - It's called "skin in the game", and I agree. The other side of that in the buidling trades is small business owners that don't always bid jobs based on how their employees would perfom, owners bid based on how they would perform. I made a damn good living providing objective estimating services to that very niche. Not only did they get a more realistic labor estimate in dollars, they also got one in man-hours, which further enabled better management of the project and provided a metric to help assess employee efficiency.

roadlust's picture

The truth hurts people's dogmas so much.  This country would be almost literally in the Stone Age right now without the MASSIVE "socialist" US governmet intervention of the last several years.  The bubble would have taken our "free markets" with it. 

And anybody who has sucked serious money out of the American economic system in the years since has been handed welfare for the rich from the US government (i.e., us, taxpayers) to perpetuate the myth that American "free market" economics is actually a "free" market, and that it's the safest, most effcient economic system in the world. 

It is "safe" only because of the American people, in the form of their government.  And the income, or "profits," that have been "created" since 2008 is simply free (or almost free) money from the citizens of the US. 

God forbid they should want some of their kid's money back now in taxes from the people whose priveledge and money the bailout was designed to protect.

Element's picture



" ... This country would be almost literally in the Stone Age right now without the MASSIVE "socialist" US governmet intervention of the last several years.  The bubble would have taken our "free markets" with it. ..."

Pure unadulterated rubbish!

 Not so at all.

Firstly, 'free-markets' ARE gone sport - and due to that!

Now, look at US GDP, 1929 thru 1935.

Banks died by the thousands, debts in them were written-down/wiped-out, people suddenly were free of crushing debts, and they wanted stuff again. Demand exploded, employment shot up, and GDP started a very rapid rise, from a very low base. Only 15 years later the US was the top-dog on earth, with a frenetic and highly-mobilized economy.

PT's picture

Or, a similar argument:  I hear that Steve Jobs started in his parent's garage.  The next generation won't have a parent's garage to start in.

hmmtellmemore's picture



She is as Socialist as an American can get.  So far down the spectrum to be near politicians in France?  LOL No.  She's an American, get real.  Even on the Socialist end of the scale in the US could be considered Free market in some European nations.  Don't forget guys, the US has a love of freedom that really does set us apart.  Don't let this site let you forget that of all the nations out there, we are basically the most freedom loving.  Do we love it enough?  No.  But compared to most other nations, we are downright anarchic.

Seize Mars's picture


Are you delusional?

James_Cole's picture

Don't let this site let you forget that of all the nations out there, we are basically the most freedom loving.  Do we love it enough?  No.  But compared to most other nations, we are downright anarchic.


LiberalConstitutionalist's picture

Since when did subversive fascism in the form of Team Red Vs. Team Blue media reporting become anarchic?

KickIce's picture

You might be correct on the freedom part, problem isthe majority of Americans haven't realized how much freedom they've lost - and won't until it is to late.  Even those that are waking up have not realized the core role central banks and the Fed have played in causing our misery.

WhackoWarner's picture

utter nonsense.


Complete and utter nonsense.


Take one little peek at the health of the societies in say Sweden? Norway?  Take a peek at Iceland who took a very unreported path. Take a look at Switzerland, which is probably the only "direct democracy"..Show me one of these countries that allows elections to run up billion dollar donation bills from special interests that have only one desire.


Complete and utter ignorant nonsense.

rustymason's picture

But the U.S. has a very different history, form of government, geography, and is a very non-homogenous multiculti society now, so we cannot run our country like other, smaller countries.

GMadScientist's picture

Right. That's why we all rose up in opposition to the Patriot Act and it was reversed within weeks.

Oh, wait...

PT's picture

I think you need to read that jpg again, and again, and again.  "God bless!  Keep a big hunk of it.  But a part of the social contract ..."  - "Keep a big hunk of it".  Take the blinders off.  Is she 100% socialist or 10% socialist?  Sure you could build your own roads, hire your own police force etc but which business school teaches that you should do everything yourself?  Aren't you supposed to focus on your strengths and outsource your weaknesses?

This is what Elizabeth Warren also said:

lolmao500's picture

Yeah she's so free market, she wants to give 0% loans to students so that the student loan government inflated bubble becomes even bigger. Real free market.

Peter Pan's picture

Zero rate loans to students is a massive misdirection of funds but then again so are the zero rates given to bankers.

Crtrvlt's picture

Indeed or maybe her argument is that if these banks can borrow at the current "market" rates, whatever that even means anymore, of 0% and inflate the bubble even more by lending it out at 7% +, leading to the bubble crashing harder, then so should they. The banks should not be profiting on this at the expense of everyone nor should the govt be involved in the first place. jesus What a circle jerk.

Henry Hub's picture

***she wants to give 0% loans to students***


Zero percent loans to students. You have to be kidding! That is so Communistic. We all know that only the TBTF scumbag banksters should get loans at zero percent.

GMadScientist's picture

Yeah, it's so much better to spend 3X that amount putting them in jail or sending them into combat in real-far-away-istan instead.



tmosley's picture

You could probably say the same of Mao.


F. Bastiat's picture

The lady is a dyed-in-the-wool marxist and protege of today's Trotsky - Cass Sunstein.

Be careful what you wish for, you might just get "Nudged" into it.

MeatGrinder's picture

You mean Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren? It’s okay for her to game the system, but she’ll put her foot down when anyone else does. Typical commie cunt.

pbppbp's picture

Get it straight. Unless by socialist you mean she demands fairness and does not tolerate the idea that any bank is too big to fail, you need to think before you write. 

Gene Parmesan's picture

This latest piece of news isn't what makes her a socialist, it's her worldview that does.

LiberalConstitutionalist's picture

GEEENNNNEEEE!!!! You get me everytime!

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Worldview?????  Is that the "intellectual" way of saying like us or someone I would like to have a beer with????

imbtween's picture

give me her worldview over anybody else's anyday, insects.

hmmtellmemore's picture

Demanding fairness and equality is a hallmark of Socialism.

Perhaps she will advocate nationalising a failing bank, Fannie Mae style... then I guess you'd have to eat your words, huh?

GMadScientist's picture

Fairness with respect to application of the law? (or do you prefer the best kind money can buy?)

Equality of opportunity? (or is a level-playing field too threatening for you stalwarts of 'competition'?)

Lebensphilosoph's picture

Neither one exists or can exist. What she wants is to force people to behave as she believes they ought to. That is the essence of every 'ism'.

PT's picture

If you've already paid for the bank, then why shouldn't you own it?????  ('cos only Socialists own what they buy??? WTF???  Yes, it would be better just to let the banks fail, but if you're gonna bail them out then you own them, plus you own all those empty houses... )  First thing on the agenda, sack the fuckers in charge of the bank - TBTF should not apply to the people that drive the TBTF bank into the ground.  Out here in the real world, people get sacked for a hell of a lot less.  Maybe hire someone who knows a little mathematics, like, if you earn 14 grand per year then you really can't afford to repay 50 grand per year.

Inspector Bird's picture

She's a socialist all right, and I don't like her.

Being right about one thing does NOT make her right about anything else.  Yes, all these people should be jailed, and forced to follow the law.  But in her mixed-up, nutty world, the government not only sets the laws, but controls all economic levers of power to the point that only politicians like HER stay out of jail when they break the law.

Sorry, not buying her game.  I like the sentiment, but fail to see her walking the walk.  After all, isn't she a Native American?  Ahem....

She's a politician, ergo a criminal.

Room 101's picture

You misunderstand the agenda.  She hints at it indirectly in her letter by noting that you get more in the way of negotiated settlements when you have a series of prosecutions under your belt, that represent a credible threat to those you're attempting to negotiate with. 

I think this is a more or less honest reflection of her worldview.   She will no doubt be negotiating for a higher price than her colleagues by establishes herself as a more credible threat.  

LawsofPhysics's picture

A true patriot, wish she had balls and a military to back her up, gentlemen...

JustObserving's picture

She has more balls than the rest of the senate.  Probably, more intelligence and integrity too.  

jimmytorpedo's picture

Joseph Mengele did some really interesting things.

He had balls and integrity and intelligence too.

Cheering for the least evil is still evil folks.

Get with the effing program.

ALL gov't is violence.