More headlines for Elizabeth Warren demanding that someone be prosecuted for something.

But there’s a catch.

She’s making headlines, once again, by asking questions of witnesses who cannot possibly answer them because they have no jurisdiction to implement criminal prosecutions, Warren starts taking on banks and regulators (emphasis mine):

Warren questioned senior Treasury Department officials Thursday about why there was no criminal prosecution for alleged money laundering by British bank HSBC and no effort to shut it down. HSBC agreed last December to pay a forfeiture and penalties totaling $1.9 billion to settle charges it helped Mexican drug traffickers, Iran and Libya move money around the world.

“What does it take, how many billions of dollars do you have to launder from drug lords and how many economic sanctions do you have to violate before someone will consider shutting down a financial institution?” Warren asked at a Banking Committee hearing on money laundering.

The Treasury officials punted, saying criminal prosecutions are up to the Justice Department, not them.


Why more people have not been prosecuted for financial crimes is a legitimate question.

But Warren should be putting Eric Holder and the Justice Department on the hot seat, not financial regulators whose job it is to ensure financial stability and integrity through regulation and supervision.

That regulation only includes the other Warren demand, that a big financial institution be shut down regardless of the havoc that would create, as the most extreme and least desirable outcome:

The HSBC settlement was the largest penalty ever imposed on a bank. But the U.S. stopped short of charging executives, citing the bank’s immediate, full cooperation and the damage that an assault on the giant company might cause on economies and people, including thousands who would lose jobs if the bank collapsed.

It’s all show, and the media is falling for it hook, line and sinker.


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