Just got a press release from Bernie Sanders' office. Our junior senator grilled Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at a Senate Budget Committee hearing today. Here's an excerpt of the exchange, from the press release:
At a Senate Budget Committee hearing, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) challenged Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on why Wall Street chief executives, such as Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, have been allowed to keep their jobs.
“You have a person who made hundreds of millions for himself and he led his institution and helped cause a great financial crisis. We have put as taxpayers $10 billion to bail him out and we have no say as to whether or not he will stay on the job?” Sanders asked Geithner.
“There will be circumstances…where the government intervention will have to come with very tough conditions including changes in management leadership of institutions,” the new treasury secretary said. “Where we believe that makes sense, we will do that."
Sanders pressed: “I just asked you if you believe that’s the case with Goldman Sachs?”
In that case, Geithner said, he would leave the decision up to the Goldman Sachs board of directors.
“We’re not going to fire the leadership?” an incredulous Sanders persisted. "We’re going to keep these same guys who caused the crisis in power and who made huge sums of money?
“I think the American people — if they’re going to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into these institutions — want a new slate of leadership.”
The Goldman Sachs CEO was the highest paid executive on Wall Street in 2006 and 2007, when he made more than $125 million in total compensation. While millions of Americans have lost their homes, Blankfein owns a $48 million estate and a $26 million penthouse apartment on Park Avenue in New York City.