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When: Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Senator Elizabeth Warren on CNBC's "Mad Money with Jim Cramer" (M-F, 6p–7pm ET) on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Following is a link to an excerpt of the interview on CNBC.com: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/09/19/sen-elizabeth-warren-wells-fargo-misdeeds-were-all-about-profits.html.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
JIM CRAMER: THE MORE WE LEARN ABOUT THIS EQUIFAX DEBACLE THE WORSE IT LOOKS. TURNS OUT IT WAS HIT WITH ANOTHER DATA BREACH IN MARCH, MONTHS BEFORE THE GIGANTIC HACK THAT EXPOSED THE PERSONAL INFORMATION OF 143 MILLION AMERICANS. SAME HACKERS BOTH TIME, TALK ABOUT ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL. LISTEN I KNOW REGULATIONS BECOME A DIRTY WORD ON WALL STREET BUT WHEN BUSINESSES BEHAVE THIS IRRESPONSIBLY AT SOME POINT THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO STEP IN. THAT'S WHY I THINK NOW IS A CRITICAL TIME FOR US TO HEAR FROM SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN, THE DEMOCRAT FROM MASSACHUSETTS WHO HAS STRONG WORDS FOR EQUIFAX AS WELL AS FOR THE FEDERAL RESERVE WHEN IT COMES TO THE ACTIONS OF ANOTHER COMPANY THAT HAS MISBEHAVED, WELLS FARGO. SENATOR WARREN, WELCOME TO "MAD MONEY."
SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN: THANK YOU. I'M GLAD TO BE HERE.
CRAMER: ALRIGHT SENATOR I'VE GOT TO ASK YOU SOMETHING I ASKED RHETORICALLY LAST NIGHT BUT I THINK YOU'LL HAVE AN ANSWER. HOW THE HECK DOES RICHARD SMITH, THE CEO OF EQUIFAX, STILL HAVE A JOB?
WARREN: I DON'T KNOW. I DONT KNOW. BUT HERE'S WHAT I DO KNOW. SO LONG AS THERE IS NO PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY WHEN THESE BIG COMPANIES BREACH CONSUMER'S TRUSTS, STEAL – LET THEIR DATA GET STOLEN, CHEAT THE CONSUMERS LIKE THEY DID WITH WELLS FARGO, THEN NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE. AS LONG THEY CAN KEEP COLLECTING THEIR PAYCHECKS AND THEY CAN KEEP SLEEP AND COZY AT NIGHT, THEN WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THE SAME KIND OF THING GOING ON AT THE BIG CORPORATIONS WHERE THE CUSTOMER IS AT THE END OF THE DAY AND LET'S FACE IT, STOCKHOLDERS ARE AT THE END OF THE DAY. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE EXECUTIVES. IF WE WANT CHANGE WE GOT TO HOLD THE EXECUTIVES ACCOUNTABLE, PERIOD.
CRAMER: CAN YOU HAUL THE MEMBERS OF THESE BOARDS DOWN THE WASHINGTON AND ASK THEM PERSONALLY? BECAUSE YOU KNOW THEY SEEM TO SAY NOTHING AND THEY GET AWAY WITH IT. YOU EMBARRASS THEM AND THEY WILL TAKE ACTION.
WARREN: YEAH, YEAH, EXACTLY RIGHT. SO, I'VE ASKED FOR HEARINGS ON BOTH EQUIFAX AND ANOTHER HEARING ON WELLS FARGO. YOU KNOW, WE HAD A HEARING A YEAR AGO WHEN JOHN STUMPF, WHO HAD GONE ON YOUR PROGRAM, FIRST ONE OUT OF BARREL AND SAID, HEY LISTEN, I TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT'S GONE WRONG AT WELLS FARGO. AND THEN WHAT IT TURNED OUT PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY MEANT WAS FIRING PEOPLE WHO MADE 15 BUCKS AN HOUR. YOU KNOW, SO, WE GOT JOHN STUMPF IN FRONT OF US. ASKED A COUPLE QUESTIONS. STUMPF IS NO LONGER THE CEO OF WELLS FARGO. BUT LET'S FACE IT, THERE'S STILL A LOT OF PEOPLE RUNNING WELLS FARGO WHO WAS THERE AT THE TIME OF THE CRISIS. I WANT TO DO THIS WITH ALL OF THESE BIG CORPORATION. I WANT THESE CORPORATION TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN YOU ENGAGE IN MASSIVE FRAUD, WHEN YOU ARE SO IRRESPONSIBLE WITH THE DATA THAT BELONGS TO CONSUMERS, WHEN YOU PUT YOUR CUSTOMERS AT RISK THERE'S GOING TO BE REAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOU. AND UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, UNTIL PEOPLE LOSE THEIR JOBS, UNTIL WE HAVE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS, UNTIL THERE'S A REAL CHANCE ONE OF THESE EXECUTIVES IS GOING TO BE WALKED OUT OF OFFICE IN HANDCUFFS WITH PEOPLE SNAPPING PICTURES, THEN NOTHING'S GOING TO CHANGE ON WALL STREET, NOT IN THESE BIG COMPANIES.
CRAMER: WELL, SENATOR WARREN, THIS ONE AT EQUIFAX SEEM LIKE THEY KNEW FOR A LONG TIME, DID NOTHING THERE ARE 143 MILLION PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY MAY HAVE THEIR IDENTITY BEING STOLEN. THEY HAVE OUR SOCIAL SECURITY. WHERES THE OUTRAGE BESIDES YOU?
WARREN: RIGHT. SO HERE'S THE DEAL ABOUT THEM STEALING OUR SOCIAL SECURITY. THEY NOW GOT MY SOCIAL SECURITY, MY BIRTHDAY, WHERE I LIVE. THEY CAN SIT ON THIS DATA FOR A LONG,
LONG TIME. SO YOU KNOW, WE'RE ALL REVVED UP RIGHT NOW, WE SHUT DOWN OUR CREDIT AND WATCH VERY CAREFULLY FOR WHAT, A MONTH, THREE MONTHS, SIX MONTHS, MAYBE A YEAR. BUT BOY, THOSE KEY DATA WILL STILL BE OUT THERE FOR STEALING OUR IDENTITY NEXT YEAR, AND FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, AND TEN YEARS FROM NOW AND 20 YEARS FROM NOW. THIS IS A MASSIVE FRAUD ON THE AMERICAN CONSUMER. AND IT IS NOT ENOUGH SIMPLY TO SAY, OH THERE'S GOING TO BE A FINE IMPOSED ON THE COMPANY AND SHAREHOLDERS ARE GONNA PAY A LITTLE MONEY. WE REALLY NEED TO TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT THE OVERSIGHT IN GENERAL OF THESE CREDIT REPORTING COMPANIES, BUT WE ALSO NEED SOME ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE EXECUTIVES THEMSELVES. TRUE AT EQUIFAX, TRUE WELLS FARGO IN MY VIEW.
CRAMER: LET'S TALK ABOUT WELLS FARGO.
WARREN: LET'S DO.
CRAMER: WE HAVE AN ORGANIZATION IN THIS COUNTRY. IT'S CALLED THE FEDERAL RESERVE. IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE MONITORING THESE THING FOR US, IS WELLS FARGO BIGGER THAN THE FEDERAL RESERVE?
WARREN: THERE IS WHAT GETS ME. WE KNOW THE FEDERAL RESERVE COULD REMOVE THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF WELLS FARGO. I HAD JANET YELLEN IN A HEARING VERY RECENTLY AND CHAIR YELLEN SAID YES, SHE ACKNOWLEDGED THE FED HAS THE POWER TO DO THAT, AND LOOK, JANET YELLEN IS SOMEBODY WHO'S GOTTEN OUT THERE AND TALKED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PROTECTING CONSUMERS, ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS WELL, NOT FOR JUST THOSE AT THE TOP BUT FOR THE REST OF AMERICA. WELL THIS IS FEDS CHANCE TO STEP UP AND SAY WHETHER YOU CHEAT CONSUMERS, WHEN YOU OPEN FAKE ACCOUNTS, WHEN YOU FORCE INSURANCE ON THEM THEY DON'T NEED, WHEN YOU CHARGE THEM MONEY THEY DON'T OWE, THENWE IN THE FEDERAL RESERVE ARE GOING TO SAY, THOSE WHO ARE IN CHARGE AND ARE RESPONSIBLE ARE GONE WE CANT TRUST YOU TO RUN A COMPANY OF THIS SIZE. I REALLY WANT TO SEE THE FEDS STEP UP HERE. THE FED HAS THE POWER TO DO IT, THEY NEED TO STEP UP AND DO IT.
CRAMER: NOW, THIS IS NOT A REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC ISSUE.
CRAMER: THIS 3 MILLION – WE THOUGHT IT WAS ONLY 1 MILLION PEOPLE. 3 MILLION ACCOUNTS THOUGHT IT WAS ONLY 1 MILLION ACCOUNTS. IS IT NECESSARY TO PUT A SPECIAL MASTER ON THE BOARD OF WELLS FARGO TO CHANGE THAT CULTURE?
WARREN: YOU KNOW, LET ME START BY SAYING, HOW ABOUT WE GET RID OF EVERYBODY WHO WAS THERE IN CHARGE WHEN IT HAPPENED? THAT'S GOING TO SEND A PRETTY IMPORTANT SIGNAL TO WELLS. BUT I THINK YOU RAISED THE RIGHT QUESTION, JIM. SO WHO DOES GO ON? HOW IS IT THAT WELLS FARGO ORGANIZES ITSELF IN A WAY THAT BRINGS ANY CREDIBILITY TO THE IDEA THAT THEY ACTUALLY ARE FOLLOWING THE LAW? CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT THAT IS OUR STANDARD NOW? THAT'S WHAT WE'RE ASKING FOR, JUST DON'T BREAK THE LAW, DON'T CHEAT PEOPLE AND DEFRAUD PEOPLE. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE ASKING FOR HERE WERE ASKING WELLS FARGO TO COME UP WITH A WAY TO REASSURE THE AMERICAN PUBLIC AND THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS THAT HAVE OVERSIGHT THAT THAT IS SO. WE CAN START THERE BY HOLDING THE PEOPLE AT WELLS FARGO WHO WERE THERE WHEN THIS HAPPENED WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE AND GETTING THEM OUT OF THOSE JOBS.
CRAMER: WERE YOU SURPRISED AT THE INCREDIBLY LONG SHEARMAN STERLING REPORT THAT IS REALLY JUST FELL DOWN ON ONE PERSON – CARRIE TOLSTEDT AND EVERYONE ELSE GOT A PASS?
WARREN: YEAH, COME ON. ALTHOUGH EVEN WHEN YOU READ THROUGH THAT REPORT, NOT WITHSTANDING THAT THEY WANT TO MAKE IT ALL ABOUT ONE PERSON. YOU READ THAT REPORT AND THAT REPORT IDENTIFIES ONE SYSTEMIC FAILURE AFTER ANOTHER. AND ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND WITH WELLS FARGO, THIS WAS NOT WELLS FARGO'S FIRST RODEO ON THIS. WELLS FARGO, FOUR YEARS EARLIER HAD ALREADY ADMITTED THAT IT HAD SET UP COMPENSATION'S THEMES FOR ITS EMPLOYEES THAT FORCED THESE EMPLOYEES TO GO OUT – AND ENCOURAGED THESE EMPLOYEES TO GO OUT AND SELL PREDATORY MORTGAGES, PRINCIPALLY IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN NEIGHBORHOODS AND LATINO NEIGHBORHOODS. WELLS FARGO PAID A FINE FOR THAT AND SAID WE'RE CLEANING UP OUR ACT. WE'RE GOING TO CHANGE HOW RESUPERVISE, WE'RE GOING TO CHANGE HOW DEAL WITH OUR EMPLOYEES SO NOTHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS AGAIN. NOTHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS AGAIN, AT THE SAME TIME THEYRE STARTING TO OPEN THE FAKE ACCOUNTS AND THEIR SQUEEZING THEIR LOW-LEVEL EMPLOYEES TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN AND THEN SINCE THIS FIRST CAME OUT THAT WELLS FARGO HAD OPENED ALL THESE FAKE ACCOUNTS, AND JOHN STUMPF SAT IN FRONT OF THE BANKING COMMITTEE AND SAID, THIS IS IT, IT'S ALL IN A BOX, THIS IS THE ONLY PROBLEM WE'VE GOT, EVERYTHING ELSE IS WORKING WELL, RIGHT. HE SAID THAT AND THEN IT TURNS AROUND, NO ACTUALLY THAT'S NOT SO THEY HAVE A PROBLEM ON THEIR AUTO LOANS, THEY HAVE A PROBLEM HOME MORTGAGES, AND THEN THEY HAD EVEN MORE FAKE ACCOUNTS THAN THEY HAD ORIGINALLY ADMITTED TO. THIS IS A COMPANY THAT FROM THE VERY TOP HAS MADE IT CLEAR, THERE IS NO ACCOUNTABILITY HERE, THIS IS NOT ABOUT SERVING CONSUMERS. THIS IS ALL ABOUT QUARTER BY QUARTER BY QUARTER, HOW TO JUICE THE REPORTED PROFITS. THAT THAT'S WHAT MATTERED AT WELLS FARGO. IF THEY HAD TO STEP ON YOU KNOW, A FEW HUNDRED THOUSAND FAMILIES, A FEW MILLION FAMILIES IN ORDER TO GET THERE, WELL THEN THAT WAS A PRICE WELLS FARGO WAS WILLING TO PAY AND NOT THE FEDERAL RESERVE SHOULD GO ALONG WITH.
CRAMER: WELL SENATOR I HOPE THAT YOU'LL COME BACK WHEN WE GET SOME SORT OF JUSTICE HERE, 'CAUSE RIGHT NOW IT SEEMS LIKE IT'S JUST YOU AND ME TALKING.
WARREN: WELL, WE'RE GOING TO KEEP IT UP THOUGH.
CRAMER: ALRIGHT, THANK YOU SO MUCH.
WARREN: TAKE CARE.
CRAMER: THAT'S ELIZABETH WARREN, UNITED STATES SENATOR OF MASSACHUSETTS. GOOD TO SEE YOU MA'AM, THANK YOU SO MUCH.
WARREN: GOOD TO SEE YOU.
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