In this clip, Bernie Sanders takes the former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to task for allowing the major financial institutions to play with billions of dollars in public money.
“Do you think there was a problem there that you did not raise with trillions of dollars being floated around the world in a deregulated and non-transparent way? When you heard people talking about the fundamentals of the economy being sound, why didn’t you bring it up?” asks Sanders.
Bernanke admits that the regulatory agency did not succeed in preventing the credit crisis, and his shameful protestations are cut off by Sanders, who then asks if “he didn’t believe the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (of 1933) was a tragic mistake?” For context, the Glass-Steagall Act were the limitations on bank practices passed after the Great Depression, and were repealed during the Reagan administration.
Bernanke does not think so, but grudgingly admits that more oversight may be necessary. Sanders then questions him on why the CEOs who have been “extremely reckless, greedy, and engaging in possibly criminal activities” and orchestrated the mortgage bubble and its subsequent burst haven’t been fired, to make room for new leadership and a new era of oversight in American banking. Bernanke has no answer to that either.
Watch it here:
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.