Elizabeth Warren Says Wall Street ‘Undermining’ Russia Sanctions

(Bloomberg) — Senator Elizabeth Warren, a vocal critic of Wall Street, said banks are “undermining” sanctions on Russia by snapping up the nation’s corporate bonds and suggesting clients buy assets on the cheap.

Most Read from Bloomberg

In a statement released late Friday, she called out market makers JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. following a Bloomberg report that the two banks had been purchasing beaten-down bonds. Banks routinely scoop up debt because clients asked them to, or because they expect to find ready buyers.

Read more: Wall Street Is Pouncing on Russia’s Cheap Corporate Debt

JPMorgan analysts also published a note recommending that investors boost holdings of Russian-linked debt to take advantage of a “recovery play” stemming from the sell off that has accompanied the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Giant Wall Street banks like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs never miss out on an opportunity to get richer even if it means capitalizing on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and undermining sanctions placed on Russian businesses,” said Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat.

Read more: JPMorgan Analysts Tout Russian Company Debt ‘Recovery Play’

Representatives for Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan declined to comment on the Bloomberg report that they had been buying up Russian bonds.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.