JPMorgan’s $2 billion-plus trading loss and questions surrounding Facebook’s stock offering last week have put Wall Street back in the public spotlight, just as Elizabeth Warren works to refocus the Massachusetts US Senate race on her political strength.
The Democrat delivered remarks today focused on big bank accountability after meeting with families at a Brookline restaurant. It is one of relatively few so-called message events lately by Warren as she has otherwise campaigned across Massachusetts in her race against Senator Scott Brown.
Warren declared she was endorsing the Federal Reserve Independence Act offered earlier this week by Senators Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, Barbara Boxer, a Democrat from California, and Mark Begich, a Democrat frm Alaska.
The bill would ban all bank executives from serving on the boards of the regional Federal Reserve Banks.
Warren already called on JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to resign from the board of directors for the New York Fed after his company’s loss.
“Foxes shouldn’t guard the henhouse, and executives from the big banks shouldn’t have that sort of role on the Federal Reserve’s Regional Banks,” Warren said in a statement. “It’s time for some common sense. The legislation that’s pending to boot the big banks out of their perch in the Federal Reserve should pass now.”
The Harvard Law School professor has been on the defensive during the past month after questions about whether she improperly claimed Native American heritage. Brown himself has called on her to release her job applications to prove she did not gain an unfair advantage as she climbed the academic ladder.
Warren, who founded the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the Obama administration, and who has emerged as an anti-Wall Street crusader, has sought to return to her strength during the past two weeks.
Jim Barnett, Brown’s campaign manager, said in a statement: “It’s simply not credible for Elizabeth Warren to demand accountability from others when she has refused to take responsibility for her own actions falsely describing herself as a minority professor. Establishing accountability and trustworthiness with voters is the first test for any candidate running for office, and by misrepresenting herself as a minority, Elizabeth Warren has failed that test.”Glen Johnson can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.