Elizabeth Warren on “Colbert”: “We Can’t Have Capitalism If There Aren’t Rules”

Elizabeth Warren went on The Colbert Report Monday to discuss her new memoir A Fighting Chance, which is “totally for real no joking guys please believe me” not a campaign book. The senator from Massachusetts and the future Late Show host discussed a lot of things including but not limited to how Reagan forged a culture of deregulation and leniency on Wall Street that led directly to the 2008 financial crisis and how the people responsible for said crisis who ran the biggest banks in America have still not been held responsible.

I grew up in an America that was investing in kids. It was investing in public universities. It had a high minimum wage. It was an America that said every kid had a fighting chance.And that’s how we built America’s great middle class. Then starting in about the 1980s we started turning in another direction…And what happened is [Reagan] had a couple of ideas. The first one was that they would fire the cops. Not the ones on main street but the ones on Wall Street…making sure that our largest financial institutions actually followed the law…If we don’t have basic rules what happened is what happened then. And that is the big financial institutions made billions of dollars by cheating people on credit cards and mortgages…There’s been a lot of freeloading, but the freeloading has been by the biggest financial institutions who got bailed out by the American taxpayers, who broke the law and were never held responsible…Here’s the key part—nobody went to jail for any part of this. The only people in America today who go to jail are regular folks. Big financial institutions get out there, they launder drug money, they violate the law, and still no one is held accountable. I think that’s fundamentally wrong.

Why won’t Elizabeth Warren let banks launder their drug money in peace?
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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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