In a congressional hearing, Sen. John Kennedy took the opportunity to inject some humor into the serious discussion of banking oversight. He questioned the CEOs of major U.S. banks about the irony of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) advising them on new regulations, despite the fact that three banks had failed under the FDIC’s oversight in the same year. Kennedy directly addressed Jamie Dimon, the famed CEO of JP Morgan Chase, with his joke. He pointed out that it’s like getting gun safety advice from Alec Baldwin, referencing the actor’s recent on-set shooting incident that resulted in the death of a cinematographer.
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Kennedy also highlighted the recent reports of shocking workplace behavior within the FDIC, including drinking, sexual harassment, and lewd behavior. This casts doubt on the credibility of the organization in providing guidance to banks. He pointed out that the proposed regulations are from an international body based in Switzerland, not by the U.S. Congress.
The bank CEOs unanimously opposed the new regulations, known as Basel III, citing concerns that increased capital requirements would drive up lending costs at a time when the economy is already facing challenges from inflation and rising interest rates.
Kennedy’s witty remark added a lighthearted moment to the hearing, showcasing his personality and ability to address serious issues with a touch of humor.