Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) argued during a Tuesday panel at the Center for American Progress Ideas Festival that having females in leadership roles would solve problems, saying, "If it wasn't Lehman Brothers but Lehman Sisters, we might not have had the financial collapse." The statement by Gillibrand was actually stolen from the International Monetary Fund's Christine Lagarde, who made the same "Lehman Sisters" comment in 2010 and said it was "of course" just a joke. Lagarde repeated the line in a 2012 interview with Niall Ferguson, again making clear it was a joke. Gillibrand didn't appear to be joking during her panel on "Women's Power," where she was joined on stage by former Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards and Democrat political veteran Jennifer Palmieri. "The empowerment of women is so important throughout the economy," Gillibrand said. "We don't value women in society, and that's just a fact."
"It's not just, ‘I feel exposed and I'm tearing up cuz I'm not like a man,' how about, ‘I'm tearing up because I'm so angry and frustrated and my emotional intelligence is what's going to make this country succeed.'" It was after the comments on women crying at work that Gillibrand busted out Lagarde's line. "If it wasn't Lehman Brothers but Lehman Sisters, we might not have had the financial collapse," she raised her voice to say. "It is the value that a woman brings to that table that she has all these different life experiences." -- "Amen, sister," Palmieri said. Lehman Brothers gave $6,000 to Gillibrand during her 2008 election, which she refused to return. Gillibrand also argued that if there were more women commanders in the military then sexual assault and harassment would be eradicated.