Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts and Great Liberal Hope, had her first hearing yesterday as a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. How'd it go? Great for Warren; less so for the regulators of whom she was asking questions:
The Democratic senator from Massachusetts had a straightforward question for them: When was the last time you took a Wall Street bank to trial? It was a harder question than it seemed.
"We do not have to bring people to trial," Thomas Curry, head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, assured Warren, declaring that his agency had secured a large number of "consent orders," or settlements. [...]
"There are district attorneys and United States attorneys out there every day squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds and taking them to trial in order to make an example, as they put it. I'm really concerned that 'too big to fail' has become 'too big for trial,'" Warren said.
"Piercing questions," it goes without saying, isn't the same thing as "material reform," but smart representatives of reform ideas can get those ideas a wider audience and firmer base of support, especially when it makes for great video. Plus, you know, schadenfreude.