Watch Kennedy’s full remarks here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today questioned the chief executive officers (CEOs) of the nation’s biggest banks, including Charles W. Scharf of Wells Fargo & Company, Brian Thomas Moynihan of Bank of America, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Jane Fraser of Citigroup, William H. Rogers Jr. of Truist Financial Corporation, Andy Cecere of U.S. Bancorp and William S. Demchak of PNC Financial Services Group.
Kennedy commended capitalism for bringing people out of poverty and exhorted the banks not to bow to pressure from radical leftists.
“Capitalism works. That’s why America has the strongest economy in all of human history. Capitalism has done more to lift people out of poverty than all the social programs put together. The poverty rate in our country is three percent. . . . That money to help our neighbors who are less fortunate than we are did not come from leprechauns. It came from the American people and their generosity, and they have that money because of capitalism,” explained Kennedy.
“You will never win—never—the uber-woke sweepstakes. I understand that the pressure to run that race is fierce. You will never win it. Nothing you do will ever be enough. The uber-woke people in positions of power in this town think America was evil when it was founded and it’s even more evil today. You’re not going to convince them otherwise,” Kennedy continued.
“I believe that you’re not free if you can’t say what you think. I encourage you to do that. I believe that you’re not free if you can’t express yourself. You have your opinion; be candid. Don’t try to win the uber-woke sweepstakes.”
Kennedy also addressed the inflation burdening Louisiana families, saying, “Inflation is gutting the American people like a fish. Now, we know what our Federal Reserve is doing on the monetary side. I want to ask you what you think we should do—‘we’ meaning the federal government—on the fiscal side.”
Fraser with Citigroup replied, “There is a considerable amount of savings still in the system. We don’t believe that we need more additional stimulus being put through into the economy,”
“Yeah, I think a little less fiscal spending would be good because we had 30 percent of GDP spent over a two-year period, which is literally unprecedented,”said Dimon with JPMorgan Chase.
Kennedy then asked whether it would be helpful to get “government off the backs of the American people in terms of regulation.”
Dimon replied, “That would be helpful, I think, particularly for small business. I don’t want to sit here and complain about big companies, but I urge everyone to take ten small businesses out to lunch and ask them what it’s like to live through federal, state and local regulations, even if they have one store. And that could help a lot.”
View the full exchange here.