When Republican Senator Tim Scott recently asked the CEOs of some of the world’s biggest banks to articulate their position on ‘woke capitalism,’ most didn’t know what to say.
On Wednesday, the senator took part in a virtual hearing where he said that woke capitalism appears to be “running amok throughout the financial institutions of our country.”
In particular, Senator Scott asked the CEOs why they had all made negative comments about Georgia’s new voting law.
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Scott asked Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, Citibank CEO Jane Fraser, and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon why they recently signed a letter opposing what they called “discriminatory legislation” regarding Georgia’s new HB 531 election law, which requires identification of voters, changes early voting times, and more.
Scott said to the CEOs, “It seems you are all very comfortable picking winners and losers – particularly those who signed the letter in opposition to Georgia – that would be Bank of America, Citibank and Goldman Sachs.”
“Picking winners and losers in certain areas – especially in election law – I just want to understand your position on that very important law?” Scott said.
The senator noted that he “as a Southerner and African American who has voted in the South all my life would hate any form of discrimination [or] anything that restricts voting rights.”
The Scott got straight to the point.
“What part of the Georgia law restricted voting rights or was discriminatory?” Scott asked.
The silence was deafening. Then Moynihan took a shot at an answer.
“Our company signed that letter based on input from our [Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance] committee and our teammates about how they felt when the law came in,” Moynihan said to Scott.
The Bank of America CEO said that his company wants to see voting “standards that we can all agree to.”
Scott wasn’t having it.
“You’re diving into which laws you want to uphold and which laws you find offensive but you can’t articulate a position on why those things are offensive,” Scott said.
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The senator added, “It just seems confusing to me that one would say ‘I support capitalism’ but [you all] are doing these things that are inconsistent [with that statement] and [you] cannot articulate a single reason why [you] oppose the law in Georgia.”
Fraser and Solomon didn’t say a word.
“I find it to be disheartening as a former member of some of the institutions as an account holder and a member of others, why it is that you all have taken such a strong clear position but can’t or won’t articulate the reason for that position?” Scott finished.
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