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People that robbed your banks say they’re sorry, they won’t do it again

February 11th, 2009 · 2 Comments


This very morning, a Congressman named Michael Capuano put his energy, brains, and Somerville accent to work on a few of the banking types who made this big mess we’re in. What a pleasure to hear him.

One of my favorite bits I truncated for the post title: “I have some people in my constituency that actually robbed some of your banks. And they say the same thing. They’re sorry, they didn’t mean it. They won’t do it again. Just let ‘em out!”

For more from his tirade, though this is still an informal transcript, keep reading.

By a show of hands, how many of your banks engaged in purchasing or investing in credit default swaps? In CDOs? Special investment vehicles — those off-books or somehow unregulated off-books activities. All or most of you engaged in the activities that created this crisis in my opinions.

Every one of those activities, but especially the SIVs — I believe they’re illegal.

We’ve had no prosecutorial action in the last administration. The new administration has a little time to figure this out. How can any regulated bank have on its books something that’s unregulated that for all intents and purposes does the same things the bank does. I hope to hear that answer in court someday.

You come to us today on your bicycles, after buying Girl Scout cookies, and helping out Mother Teresa. Telling us, “I’m sorry, we didn’t mean it, we won’t do it again. Trust us. “

I have some people in my constituency that actually robbed some of your banks. And they say the same thing. They’re sorry, they didn’t mean it. They won’t do it again. Just let ‘em out!

Do you understand that this is a little difficult for most of the people in my constituency to take? That you’ve learned your lesson?

And it’s all the same people doing this. The same people who created SIVs, who created CDOs, who created credit default swaps, that never existed a few years ago. You created the mess we’re in.

And now you say sorry, trust us, and by the way we don’t even want the money. Interesting. No one’s ever come to me and said you must take billions of dollars.

If you don’t want the money, you can give it back. You just have to come up with the capital…

America doesn’t trust you any more.

I get a lot of money to put in banks. I don’t have one single penny in one of your banks. I don’t want my money to go into credit swaps and CDOs and making humongous bonuses.

Until that changes, I don’t believe anything will change. Until you change the people who brought you into SIVs.

Who was the brilliant person who came and said: Let’s do credit default swaps? Find ‘em. Fire ‘em. Tell me you fired them.

Get out of CDOs. Start loaning the money that we gave you and get it on the street.

Don’t say: Oh, well we’re not using that money for bonuses. C’mon! Money is all of a sudden not fungible in your entity. It’s fungible everywhere else, but not in your entities.

Get our money out on the street. And if you don’t want to give it back, don’t come here and tell me you can’t. Yes you can, as long as you live up to the requirements that are put on you now.

In the new world, that you created, we have to clean up. With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the remainder of my time.

Thanks to TPM for the pleasure of hearing Capuano telling the big banks what I would have liked to tell them. But he did it better. By the way, I’m proud to say he is MY Congressman.

Tags: Wide wonderful world

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