Banking leaders fret over US Capitol assault - Banking, Regulation & Risk -
US Capitol attack

Finance and business executives condemn violence that left four people dead and urge peaceful transition of power.

Leading banking executives have strongly condemned the violence that erupted in Washington DC on January 6, which saw thousands of supporters of president Donald Trump storm the US Capitol Building and five people died. Bank CEOs were quick to issue public statements and have urged a peaceful of transition of power to president-elect Joe Biden on January 20.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon described the events as unrepresentative of who the US is as a people and a country. “Our elected leaders have a responsibility to call for an end to the violence, accept the results, and, as our democracy has for hundreds of years, support the peaceful transition of power,” Mr Dimon said in a statement.

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, meanwhile, said the country needed to begin the process of “reinvesting” in democracy and rebuilding its institutions. “For years, our democracy has built a reservoir of goodwill around the world that brings important benefits for our citizens,” Mr Solomon said. “Recently, we have squandered that goodwill at a rapid pace, and today’s attack on the US Capitol does further damage. It’s time for all Americans to come together and move forward with a peaceful transition of power.”

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan stated: “Today’s appalling events in our nation’s capital underscore the urgent need for all Americans to unite behind one of our most cherished principles: the peaceful transfer of power that has happened without interruption since our country’s founding.”

Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, meanwhile, said he was “disgusted” by the rioting. “I have faith in our democratic process and know that the important work of Congress will continue and that people will be held accountable for their actions,” he stated.

Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, described the attack as an “assault on our nation, our democracy, and the will of the American people”. He added, “The peaceful transfer of power is the foundation of our democracy. We are who we are as a nation because of our democratic institutions and process.”

25th Amendment urged

The US Congress reconvened to certify Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election in the early hours after police eventually managed to remove the mob, which had been encouraged by president Trump, from the building.

The National Association of Manufacturers president and CEO Jay Timmons laid the blame for the violence squarely at the door of president Trump and urged vice-president Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office to preserve democracy.

“Trump refused to accept defeat in a free and fair election. Throughout this whole disgusting episode, Trump has been cheered on by members of his own party, adding fuel to the distrust that has enflamed violent anger. This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous. This is sedition and should be treated as such,” Mr Timmons stated.

“The outgoing president incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favour of anarchy. Anyone indulging conspiracy theories to raise campaign dollars is complicit.”

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