Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: 7 Hard Rounds of Questions for John Stumpf, Wells Fargo CEO


Richard Eskow
7 Hard Rounds of Questions for John Stumpf, Wells Fargo CEO
Stumpf is about to testify before the Senate Banking Committee ... Here are seven concerns, and seven sets of questions, that should be posed to him, either at Tuesday’s hearing or as part of a more rigorous investigation ... why didn’t you or any of your executives make the connection between your employee incentive package and this behavior? ... why didn’t you compare cross-selling rates for dishonest employees with those of honest employees ... why shouldn’t your bank be broken up right now?


Hillary Clinton writes open letter to Wells Fargo customers:Today, Wells Fargo’s CEO will appear before Congress. He owes all of you a clear explanation as to how this happened under his watch … we need to defend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [which] with local authorities and enforced the law … we need real consequences when firms on Wall Street break the law … Executives should be held individually accountable when rampant illegal activity happens on their watch.”
CEO John Stumpf plans apology in Senate testimony today. NYT: “‘I am deeply sorry that we failed to fulfill our responsibility to our customers, to our team members and to the American public.’ … there is a particular feeling of schadenfreude on Wall Street and in certain circles of Washington, where Mr. Stumpf was seen as portraying Wells as being different than the risky global investment banks behind the mortgage crisis … ‘I think we have gone too far’ in terms of regulation, he told an interviewer in 2013, the same year he was named Banker of the Year by The American Banker, a trade publication.”


Sen. Bernie Sanders urges support for Clinton in interview with The Nation: “…do I have strong differences of opinion with Hillary Clinton? I think the whole world knows that … [But] Hillary Clinton is now on record for doing that for people making $125,000 a year or less. You know what? That is pretty revolutionary … Clinton is on record supporting a doubling of community health centers in this country, which will mean that tens of millions of people—poor people—will have access to health care that do not have it today. Is that significant? It is very significant.”
Clinton reaches out to millennials. Politico: “[Aides] described the Temple speech as an effort to earn the votes of young people who might not know where she stands on issues like equal pay for women, gay rights, the minimum wage, and college affordability. She also appealed to their sense of tolerance and multiculturalism … [Young Clinton supporters] said most of their Bernie-or-Bust friends are coming around as the election nears, but not all of them.”
VP nominee Tim Kaine shares that one his children supported Bernie. W. Post quotes: “Hey, we’re a big family on the Democratic side.”


Donald Trump Jr. compares refugees to poisoned Skittles. NPR: “… Donald Trump Jr. tweeted an image [saying] ‘If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you three would kill you, would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.’ … ‘Skittles are candy. Refugees are people,’ a spokeswoman for the candy’s parent company, Wrigley, said …”
Mayors of New York, Paris and London pen joint NYT oped celebrating immigrants: “Refugees and other foreign-born residents bring needed skills and enhance the vitality and growth of local economies, and their presence has long benefited our three cities.”
The American Prospect’s Justin Miller explores Trump’s tax avoidance strategies: “In his financial disclosure report filed with the Federal Election Commission this year, Trump valued [his Westchester County, NY] golf course and palatial clubhouse at more than $50 million … However, when it came time to pay property taxes, he claimed that the property and clubhouse was worth just $1.36 million—a 97 percent cut from his FEC disclosure figure … The real scandal is in the federal tax code, which is so far tilted in favor of real-estate development that it essentially amounts to an elaborate racket for the country’s wealthiest real-estate barons.”


Senate may vote to keep government open today. Politico: “…negotiators have settled on language that would provide money to battle the Zika virus while allowing Planned Parenthood’s partner clinic in Puerto Rico to access the federal grants … funding for the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, continues to be in the mix … Republicans have similar demands: additional funding for flood-stricken Louisiana in the short-term spending measure. Both issues remained unresolved as of Monday evening…”
Labor activists make gains on fair scheduling. American Prospect: “New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his support for legislation currently pending in the city council that would give Gotham’s fast-food workers the right to more predictable work hours. On Monday, the Seattle City Council passed a comprehensive fair workweek law that advocates hope can serve as a model for other cities.”
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