After surprisingly swearing in the CEOs from seven U.S. GSIBs at an almost seven-hour session, Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee today criticized the nation’s largest banks from many angles even as Republicans largely defended the sector. Both sides of the aisle rounded on the CEOs over the question of “social” lending, with Republicans pressing for an end to this alleged practice along lines in recent legislation (see FSM Report SOCIALIMPACT) and Democrats demanding still more sanctions against the firearms industry. It is unclear if anyone drew real blood from executives well-versed for and well-rehearsed ahead of hearings such as these, but Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) insisted that “megabanks” be held accountable, likely via the sanctions in her legislation (see FSM Report GSIB11). Doubtless anticipating this, Senate Banking Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) released a minority report alleging ongoing GSIB violations and ineffective regulation, calling on Chairman Crapo (R-ID) to hold hearings we doubt will be convened. Although CEO pay also took a beating, it seems unlikely that the committee or any in Congress will seek to do anything substantive about it.
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