Stephen Colbert blasts disgraced Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf's $200 million payday: "That's how you teach white-collar crime does not pay"

Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave Stumpf an earful on Capitol Hill for his "gutless leadership" amid sham account scandal

Published September 29, 2016 10:01AM (EDT)

"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert on Wednesday detailed the fallout at San Francisco-based bank Wells Fargo, which accrued $185 million in regulatory fines earlier this month after opening "roughly 1.5 million bank accounts and applied for 565,000 credit cards that may not have been authorized by customers," according to The New York Times.

Wells Fargo CEO John G. Stumpf testified before the Senate Banking Committee last week and received an earful from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

"Your definition of accountability is to push this on your low-level employees," Warren said, referring to the 5,300 employees fired for opening sham accounts to meet sales figures. "This is gutless leadership."

She asked Stumpf — whose compensation is $200 million, per CNN Money reports — if he'd returned even "one nickel" of the money he had personally earned through the sham account scandal. When he repeatedly answered, "The board will take care of that," Warren finally said, "I will take that as a no."

"She will take that as a no," Colbert responded, "and place the no in the bag where she put his balls."

"That's how you teach white-collar crime does not pay," he added, referring to Stumpf's compensation. "It's like when a cop catches a burglar in the act of robbing a house and says, 'Put down that TV, buddy. Now here's $200 million.'"

As Warren noted during his testimony, Stumpf set the accounts-per-customer target at eight — whereas other large banks average five — because, "eight rhymes with great."

"I gotta say, that makes him sound like something that rhymes with a real grass bowl," Colbert said. "It's asshole."

Colbert didn't mention that Wells Fargo on Wednesday announced that Stumpf would forfeit $41 million in unvested equity awards.

By Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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