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Wall Street Gets Brown's 'Goat'

WASHINGTON — Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and David Vitter, R-La., had a rare chance to talk directly in public to some of Wall Street's top representatives this week — and in at least one case, they came away a bit perplexed.

The duo spoke Tuesday on their bill designed to tackle "too big to fail" at a forum hosted by American Banker and Federal Financial Analytics, where they heard some pushback from industry officials over their plan to raise capital standards at the country's largest banks.

The debate turned biblical when Nancy Bush, a banking analyst, introduced herself as "the Judas goat," warning that she would "lead us all to slaughter" as a Wall Street representative for the discussion.

The term was unfamiliar to many in the room, including Brown, who said he had never "heard anyone self-identify themselves that way." Two days later, he brought up the phrase again.

"One woman characterized herself as, 'I am the Judas goat from Wall Street.' I didn't quite know what that meant," he told the Independent Community Bankers of America on Thursday.

According to Wikipedia, a Judas goat is a trained goat used to herd sheep and cattle, sometimes to slaughter, while its own life is spared.

The Judas goat reference was not the only moment of levity during the roundtable. Introduced at the beginning of the discussion as the Senate's "odd couple" because of their opposing ideological views, both senators appeared amused at the description.

"There will be a vote at the end" of the event "as to who's Felix and who's Oscar," Vitter joked.




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