And only some people have to follow them.

Recall the febrile howling by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) as she applied her inquisition to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf over Wells’ customer service failure that led to the firings of several thousand (now ex-) employees over their falsely creating customer accounts in order to meet sales quotas.  “You belong in jail,” she shouted, and she demanded further that Wells claw back over this corporate failure any and all bonuses that Wells executives had received.

At a subsequent House Financial Services Committee hearing on the matter, Congressman Scott Garrett (R, NJ) also put the question.  Recall that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (D), before becoming Treasury Secretary, was COO for two Citigroup units that participated in the enormous failures that were at the core of the Panic of 2008’s beginnings.  Lew was called to testify at this House hearing, and Garrett impertinently asked him whether Citigroup had clawed back any of his compensation.

Lew hemmed and hawed and refused to answer.


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