Elizabeth Warren, the chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel, the government body that monitors the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is “speechless” over the record bonuses being handed out by Wall Street firms.
A Harvard Law School professor, Warren said the financial firms, which received billions in government bailouts after massive losses last year, said the executives were not acting ethically or responsibly.
"I do not understand how financial institutions could think they could take taxpayer money and turn around and act like it is business as usual," Warren said during an interview at a meeting sponsored by The Economist magazine.
“I don't understand how they can't see that the world has changed in a fundamental way — it's not business as usual. All I can say right now is they seem to be winning this argument."
Though the crisis in the financial sector is abating, somewhat, Warren, an expert on credit and bankruptcy who is known as one of America’s leading legal minds, said that there is still difficult issues to face.
"It is not the case people go to bed wondering if there will be an economy in the morning," she said. “We still have lot of serious problems."
Warren said many banks still have so-called “toxic assets” on their balance sheets. Unemployment has “blown through” the worst-case scenarios considered by economists a year ago.
The panel chairwoman is not the only economic official worried about the bonuses, and the state of the economy, however. The New York Times is reporting that White House aide David Axelrod is raising concerns about the payouts too.
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