Exclusive: Senate Democrats Are Gunning For Greater Wall Street Oversight
A new bill introduced by a group of Senate Democrats will grant state law enforcement officials greater authority to investigate and subpoena national banks, bringing an additional level of oversight to Wall Street that these Democrats hope could prevent future risk-related financial crises.
The Accountability for Wall Street Executives Act of 2017, as the legislation is titled, will allow state attorneys general to subpoena federally-chartered banks and interview those banks’ executives, according to a copy of the bill obtained by TIME. It would roll back a 2009 Supreme Court decision that held that the right to exercise visitorial authority over national banks belonged only to federal auditors, not to states.
The bill is being introduced by Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.
“We have a duty to the American people to uncover unlawful behavior and hold violators accountable,” Harris, who served as California’s attorney general before her election to the Senate last November, said in a statement seen by TIME prior to the bill’s public release. “State law enforcement should be empowered with the tools they need to protect Americans from Wall Street abuse and fraudulent behavior by national banks. This will help ensure national banks are complying under state law and avoiding the type of illegal behavior that led to the Great Recession."
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