The Daily News has the transcript and audio headlined TRANSCRIPT: Bernie Sanders meets with the Daily News Editorial Board, April 1, 2016.
I must admit that Bernie did not do as well in this interview as he might have. So far I have only listened to about 15 minutes of the 52 minute interview. Here is one example that I think is indicative.
Daily News: Okay. You would then leave it to JPMorgan Chase or the others to figure out how to break it, themselves up. I’m not quite…
Sanders: You would determine is that, if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. And then you have the secretary of treasury and some people who know a lot about this, making that determination. If the determination is that Goldman Sachs or JPMorgan Chase is too big to fail, yes, they will be broken up.
Or maybe these quotes are more indicative.
Daily News: Okay. Staying with Wall Street, you’ve pointed out, that “not one major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for causing the near collapse of our entire economy.” Why was that? Why did that happen? Why was there no prosecution?
Sanders: I would suspect that the answer that some would give you is that while what they did was horrific, and greedy and had a huge impact on our economy, that some suggest that…that those activities were not illegal. I disagree. And I think an aggressive attorney general would have found illegal activity.
Daily News: So do you think that President Obama’s Justice Department essentially was either in the tank or not as…
Sanders: No, I wouldn’t say they were in the tank. I’m saying, a Sanders administration would have a much more aggressive attorney general looking at all of the legal implications. All I can tell you is that if you have Goldman Sachs paying a settlement fee of $5 billion, other banks paying a larger fee, I think most Americans think, “Well, why do they pay $5 billion?” Not because they’re heck of a nice guys who want to pay $5 billion. Something was wrong there. And if something was wrong, I think they were illegal activities.
Daily News: Okay. But do you have a sense that there is a particular statute or statutes that a prosecutor could have or should have invoked to bring indictments?
Sanders: I suspect that there are. Yes.
Daily News: You believe that? But do you know?
Sanders: I believe that that is the case. Do I have them in front of me, now, legal statutes? No, I don’t. But if I would…yeah, that’s what I believe, yes. When a company pays a $5 billion fine for doing something that’s illegal, yeah, I think we can bring charges against the executives.
Daily News: I’m only pressing because you’ve made it such a central part of your campaign. And I wanted to know what the mechanism would be to accomplish it.
If only Bernie Sanders had the time to be a regular reader of this blog, he would have had all the ammunition he needed. This blog is frequently discussing and pointing to articles written by William K. Black. He is the former top regulator during the S & L crisis. He wrote the book about his experiences The Best Way To Rob A bank Is To Own One. As President, Sanders doesn’t do the investigation of banks and take the perpetrators to court. That is why he has the FBI, the regulatory agencies, and the experts in the Justice Department. He already has hired Stephanie Kelton as the economic advisor to the minority on the Senate Budget Committee. She is a colleague of William K. Black. She could probably talk him into advising the Sanders administration.
If Bernie Sanders had only had Stephanie Kelton with him in the interview, she could have set them all straight. Do you suppose Elizabeth Warren could have answered the technical details? As a manager, you don’t have to have all the answers. However, you do need to have the big picture and you have to know how to hire the right experts. Obama and Clinton don’t have the big picture. They have also shown that they know how to hire all the wrong experts – Eric Holder being a case in point. He developed his wrong headed ideas of not prosecuting individual banking crooks while he was in the Clinton administration, and then he had the chance to make it the policy of the whole department when Obama chose him for attorney general.
All Bernie needed to do was to point to historical examples of breaking up monopolies. He could then say, if experts could figure out how to do it back then, I am confident I could find qualified experts to figure out how to do it now. Hillary, Bill, and Barack seem to have been quite able to find the unqualified experts who didn’t have a clue. I wouldn’t rest until I found an expert with the relevant track record of success in these matter. William K. Black and his colleagues (who Bill Clinton forced out of their jobs) brought thousands of criminal referrals, and most of those cases were successfully prosecuted.