Senate Democrats call hearing on Fed's Goldman Sachs tapes

Senate Democrats on Friday announced a hearing on the relationship between financial regulators and Wall Street giants such as Goldman Sachs.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim JohnsonTimothy (Tim) Peter JohnsonCornell to launch new bipartisan publication led by former Rep. Steve Israel Trump faces tough path to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac overhaul Several hurt when truck runs into minimum wage protesters in Michigan MORE (D-S.D.) and Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBuilding back better by investing in workers and communities US on track to miss debt payments as soon as Oct. 19: analysis On The Money — Presented by NRHC — Democrats cross the debt ceiling Rubicon MORE (D-Ohio) said they are concerned about recordings obtained by ProPublica that seem to show cozy ties between regulators and industry officials.

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“The allegations brought forth by the release of the recordings regarding the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Goldman Sachs deserve a full and thorough examination," said Brown, chairman of the Banking Committee's subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection.

“American taxpayers deserve regulators who will fight each day on their behalf, rather than cozy up to the very industry that they are meant to police,” Brown said.

The senators scheduled a subcommittee hearing for Nov. 21, but have not yet announced witnesses.

In September, ProPublica published a story based upon 46 hours of previously unreleased tape recordings of meetings at the New York Federal Reserve Bank, which plays a prominent role in policing Wall Street.

The tape recordings were from Carmen Segarra, a former bank examiner for the New York Fed. The tapes suggested that some of her fellow regulators had pushed back on her efforts to monitor Goldman Sachs. Segarra was fired for her job after seven months.

“The recent media reports are troubling because they raise new questions about regulators being captured by the financial institutions they regulate,” Johnson said in a statement. “It is important that the committee further examine this issue and push regulators to address concerns about regulatory capture and to improve supervision.”

Brown's push for the hearing is notable as he has a foreseeable path to becoming chairman of the Banking panel in the next Congress if Democrats hold the Senate.