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Elizabeth Warren presses financial regulators: Why no trials for Wall Street?

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At a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asked the nation’s top financial regulators why Wall Street firms who broke the law were not taken to trial.

“We face some very special issues with big financial institutions,” she said. “If they can break the law and drag in billions and billions in profits, and then turn around and settle — paying out of those profits — they don’t have much incentive to follow the law. It is also the case that every time there is a settlement and not a trial, we didn’t have those days and days and days of testimony about what those financial institutions had been up to.”

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Warren asked how tough the financial regulators were and questioned them about the last time a major Wall Street firm had been put on trial.

Thomas Curry, the Comptroller of the Currency, said his primary duty was to correct deficiencies in the financial system and that it wasn’t necessary to bring anyone to trial. Elisse B. Walter, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, was also unable to recall when a Wall Street firm had been taken to trial.

“I just want to note on this, there are District Attorneys and U.S. Attorneys who are out there every day squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds and taking them to trial in order to make an example, as they put it,” Warren said. “I’m really concerned that too big to fail has become too big for trial. That just seems wrong to me.”

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below:

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‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response

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President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.

"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."

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Trump is in a ‘fight-or-flight state’ over coronavirus: ‘Art of the Deal’ co-author

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On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," Trump biographer and "Art of the Deal" co-author Tony Schwartz laid out the president's state of mind over the coronavirus crisis.

"Let's understand Trump," said Schwartz. "Trump is the chief energy officer of this land. So, in other words, his energy has a disproportionate impact on all our energy. And he already raised the anxiety of people over the last four years considerably. He'll exploit fear if he thinks that serves him, or deny fear if he thinks that serves him."

"That's an important point," said host Ari Melber. "You're arguing, as someone who worked with him, that while we just heard about a public interest approach, you're saying you don't see him using public interest?"

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Markets are ‘getting ready for something worse’ amid coronavirus chaos: Expert

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," business analyst Richard Quest said that the United States is not likely on track for a recession at the moment — but that if the coronavirus outbreak explodes within the country, it could destabilize the economy into a tailspin.

"The 1,190-point drop today, the largest in the history of the New York Stock Exchange," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Over the past week, the Dow Jones has dropped 3,581 points since last Thursday alone ... could the U.S. economy now go into recession if the coronavirus spreads here in the United States?"

"Right, the qualifications of that is the last bit of your question: If it spreads in the United States," said Quest. "At the moment, there's no reputable economist that is forecasting a global recession or a U.S. recession if the status quo is maintained, i.e., periodic expansions of this with just a few more cases. However, if there was a full-scale outbreak and you start looking at large parts of the U.S. economy being shut down, no question about it. A recession would be on the cards."

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