North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis argued last week that Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs is looking out for the little guy and has been “beat down” by Congress, which wants to villainize the financial services firm.
According to a report, Tillis said at a Senate hearing last week that Goldman Sachs makes big efforts to “employ the little guy,” and noted that “there are a lot of people in this Congress that wanna just beat down job creators and employers … People want to demonize Goldman Sachs. That’s an easy thing to do, right? Just beat up on a financial services institution. An institution that’s committed to, let me look at the general numbers here — they have 36,500 employees. There’s probably a lot of little guys in there. They’ve contributed billions of dollars to nonprofits.”
The outburst came during the confirmation hearing for President Trump’s nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton. Clayton is a Wall Street lawyer who aided Goldman Sachs in its government bailout back in 2008, noted the report.
Earlier during the hearing, Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren, known for being tough on Wall Street, had questioned Clayton, which prompted the comments by Tillis, noted the report. Warren had pointed out that under ethic rules, Clayton would be forced to recuse himself as the head of the SEC for any enforcement actions against any companies he had represented for his law firm Sullivan & Cromwell when representing cases for the SEC.
“Based on your personal client disclosures then, for half of your tenure as SEC chair, you would not be able to vote to enforce the law against several big banks, including Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Barclays and UBS,” Warren said, according to the report. “Those banks have repeatedly violated securities laws in the past few years. But if they violate securities laws again in your first two years as SEC chairman, you can’t vote to punish them. And I think that’s a problem.”