Chief executives of America’s largest banks welcome a congressional staffer to their ranks at a public hearing
Despite his role in overseeing America’s most powerful financial institutions, Indiana Rep. Trey Hollingsworth publicly called on Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan to “take care of” one of his collaborators leaves to work in the company. Critics say the exchange highlighted the “revolving door” between Washington and Wall Street.
Speaking at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, where the heads of the four largest U.S. banks were supposed to be quizzed 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 on Monday for a job at Bank of America, Hollingsworth, a Republican, asked Moynihan to “take good care of her and know and recognize the talent she has already shown in our office.”
“We will do it,” Moynihan responded, adding: “His father already works for us.”
It is inexcusable. A really wild moment yesterday from the House Financial Services Committee, where they laugh at Congress’ revolving door to the banks. pic.twitter.com/LnHDlj6ZJu
– unusual_whales (@unusual_whales) September 22, 2022
“You should have called us” joked another banker, who could not be seen on camera, as the group laughed.
Walter Shaub of the Government Surveillance Project describe the scene like “absolutely wild” adding that “Anyone who says Washington’s revolving door isn’t a problem is either lying or hasn’t spent a lot of time with 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 as gross and wild in person as it was here.”
The term “revolving door” isn’t new, but the warm relationship between Washington and Wall Street came under scrutiny in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. WikiLeaks revealed in 2016 that Citigroup selected Barack Obama’s cabinet in 2008 , and Public Citizen calculated in 2010 that the banking industry had returned more than 1,400 former government employees to Washington as lobbyists in the previous two years.
A businessman before entering politics, Hollingsworth is the ninth richest member of Congress. While he spent large amounts of his own money to fund his 2016 campaign, he received more than $450,000 in donations from the insurance, securities, banking and credit industries during his 2018 campaign.
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