Leaders of America’s largest banks welcomed a congressional staffer to their ranks at a public hearing
Despite his role in overseeing the most powerful financial institutions in the U.S., Rep. Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana publicly asked Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan “take care of” one of his employees leaves to work for the company. Critics say the exchange highlighted “would turn” between Washington and Wall Street.
During a House Financial Services Committee hearing Wednesday, where the executives of the four largest U.S. banks were reportedly being evaluated on rising inflation and the state of the economy, Hollingsworth asked Moynihan for a favor.
Announcing that one of his aides, Sruthi Prabhu, would leave his office Monday to take a job at Bank of America, Hollingsworth, a Republican, asked Moynihan “Take good care of him and recognize and recognize the talent he has already shown in our office.”
“We’ll do it,” Moynihan responded by adding: “His father already works for us.”
This is unforgivable. A truly wild moment yesterday from the House Financial Services Committee laughing at the revolving door from Congress to the banks. pic.twitter.com/LnHDlj6ZJu
— unusual_whales (@unusual_whales) 22 September 2022
“You should have called us,” sneered another banker, not visible on camera, as the group laughed.
Walter Shaub of the Government Oversight Project described scene as “Totally wild,” adding it “Anyone who says the revolving door in Washington isn’t a problem is either lying or hasn’t spent much time with the people who work on the Hill.”
“I was in the room when it happened,” Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter, “And it was just as brutal and wild in person as it is here.”
Term “would turn” is not new, but the cozy relationship between Washington and Wall Street came under sharp scrutiny after the 2008 financial crisis. WikiLeaks revealed in 2016 that Citigroup handpicked Barack Obama’s cabinet in 2008, and Public Citizen calculated in 2010 that the banking industry had sent more than 1,400 former government employees back to Washington as lobbyists in the previous two years.
Before entering politics, Hollingsworth is a businessman, the ninth richest member of Congress. Although he spent large amounts of his own money to finance his 2016 campaign, he took over $450,000 in donations from the insurance, securities, banking and credit industries during the 2018 campaign.
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