Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Throw away the key! Pols want bad bankers jailed

Sen. Elizabeth Warren
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If two senators get their way, executives—and not just the banks they run—will face punishment for bad behavior in the future.

What's more, the sentiment is shared across party lines, with Sens. Elizabeth Warren , D-Mass., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., both expressing concern that while banks have faced billions in penalties for actions that precipitated the financial crisis, no individual CEOs have been held responsible.

"No corporation can break the law unless the individual within that corporation broke the law," Warren said during a committee hearing Tuesday, according to an account in The Hill. "Not a single senior executive at these banks (has) been criminally prosecuted."

"Something's wrong with the Justice Department. People shouldn't be able to … buy their way out of culpability," Shelby added. "I agree with her on that."

With Republicans poised to take control of the Senate following mid-term elections, Shelby's support for more pressure on banking executives is significant.

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"If you steal $100 on Main Street, you're probably going to jail," Warren said. "If you steal a billion bucks on Wall Street, you darn well better go to jail, too."

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