Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Stephen Colbert had a spirited argument about why people who commit major financial crimes so rarely go to jail — until she finally made her point by taking him by the hand.
The Massachusetts Democrat argues in her new book, “A Fighting Chance,” that because of rollbacks in financial regulations, Wall Street criminals are no longer punished for breaking laws.
“Law, that’s a vague term, law,” Colbert said. “One man’s law is another person’s regulation.”
“Big financial institutions made billions of dollars by cheating people on credit cards, and mortgages,” said Warren. “The only people in America today who go to jail are regular folks.”
“Have you ever heard of the invisible hand of the market?” Colbert said. “You can’t put handcuffs on an invisible hand.”
Colbert said what Warren calls breaking the law he calls “pushing the envelope.” He kept gesticulating, so Warren took him gently by the hand.
“Well, you can put handcuffs on people for pushing the envelope,” she said. “When they break the law, they deserve to have handcuffs.”
She put her other hand on his. He put his hand on hers. They let go. She touched his hand again. And then they just looked at each other, adoringly.
It was the cutest debate anyone has ever had about the double standard in the American criminal justice system.
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