AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka had some harsh words for Wall Street on CNBC today ahead of a planned march by labor union members in support of financial reform and increased lending from big banks.
Responding to Trumka's charge that Wall Street "hasn't learned the lesson" despite being responsible for the loss of $13 trillion of assets of average Americans, the network's host Erin Burnett told Trumka he was unfairly singling out Wall Street when "a lot of big union-run and union-dealt-with institutions, like the car companies, also failed."
The union president shot back, "None of those car companies or any place else, any manufacturer, took our economy to the brink of disaster."
Wall Street is facing intense scrutiny after the SEC recently charged Goldman Sachs with securities fraud. The fraud charges relate to a synthetic CDO tied to subprime mortgage securites that Goldman created for a hedge fund -- essentially side bets that have been compared to gambling. WIth more and more of the big banks' profits coming from fees and these side bets, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer recently asked, "Do investment banks do anything that helps America anymore?" "