Wall Street regulators should lose their jobs if they were in cahoots with big banks like Goldman Sachs, 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 Thursday.
Brown, who chairs the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, will hold a hearing Friday into a September ProPublica report on recordings that appear to show a cozy relationship between the New York Federal Reserve and Wall Street.
"People should lose their jobs if in fact these things happened," Brown told The Hill. "It sounds like there has been disciplinary actions already from [New York Fed President William] Dudley.”
The ProPublica story, which published through NPR, based its reporting on 46 hours of previously unreleased taped recording of meetings at the New York Fed.
Former New York Fed bank examiner Carmen Segarra taped the meetings. The recordings suggest that some of her colleagues refused to allow her to regulate Goldman Sachs.
Brown said he will ask Dudley on Friday about how the Fed has enacted regulations authored in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall St. Reform Law that require them to step up their enforcement efforts.
"It's troubling that they aren't taking seriously enough the charge on enforcement. It speaks to the culture of regulatory culture and it speaks to the culture that supposedly they go through ethics training every year — yet a former employee and a present employee think this behavior is ethical? That says a lot," Brown said.
Brown is in the mix to become the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee in the next Congress. Other contenders include committee members who are perceived by the financial industry to be more centrist, including Sens. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHispanic organizations call for Latino climate justice in reconciliation Senate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act To Win 2022: Go big on reconciliation and invest in Latinx voters MORE (D-N.Y.) and Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDemocrats weigh changes to drug pricing measure to win over moderates Advocates frustrated by shrinking legal migration under Biden Rand Paul blocks quick vote on House-passed B Iron Dome funding MORE (D-N.J.).
Brown said he "didn't know" if he was going to be ranking member of the panel, and Menendez refused to comment on speculation about his committee position in the next Congress. Menendez is now chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Brown and other liberal senators on the Banking panel, including Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenMisguided recusal rules lock valuable leaders out of the Pentagon Biden's soft touch with Manchin, Sinema frustrates Democrats Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Congress makes technology policy moves MORE (D-Mass.), have frequently questioned why Wall Street bankers were not imprisoned after the financial collapse in 2008.
Brown said he will underscore that point during Friday's hearing.
"I wonder if because apparently nobody ever goes to prison for criminal behavior in our Wall Street financial system and apparently punishment is not the deterrent that it is if you're caught shoplifting at Costco," Brown said.