Senator Elizabeth Warren overturns the tables of the bank regulators

#Occupy demonstration

“Then Jesus entered the Temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the Temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers…” (Matthew 21:12)

When Jesus of Nazareth went to the Temple in Jerusalem, he took on the brokers who were ripping off the pilgrims who came during Passover, largely for their unfair banking practices.

Jesus took direct action because the bank regulators of his time, the scribes and Pharisees who could interpret Jewish law on charging interest, for example, were failing in their duty to the people.

Something eerily similar played out when Senator Elizabeth Warren turned the tables on the bank regulators testifying before her and the others on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee recently.


Senator Warren’s questions weren’t mired in the minutia of banking regulation, but instead were direct and pointed:

“The question I have is, how tough you are?” she asked the banking regulators seated before her.

Warren’s line of questioning was effectively, how do we turn the tables on the bankers, and make them subject to the same kind of prosecutorial scrutiny to which ordinary citizens are routinely subjected?  Perhaps the banks would be less likely to play fast and loose with regulation if they faced trial.

“I’m just concerned that too big to fail has become too big for trial,” she noted.

Senator Warren is right. If banks are not held accountable, they will crash the economy again.

Bet on it.




About Susan Thistlethwaite

I am President Emerita and Professor Emerita of Chicago Theological Seminary; I write for the public here and in local papers. I am interested in what I call "public theology," or how deeper meaning is made and contested in the public square.
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1 Response to Senator Elizabeth Warren overturns the tables of the bank regulators

  1. I love what she had to say at the end about “making examples” out of average citizens by taking them to trial when the courts and everyone knows they could never pay these outrageous penalties. Yet somehow the banks are allowed to settle for sums that are nothing to them. No one takes them to court simply to make an example out of them.

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