Why Massachusetts Elected Elizabeth Warren
One of the greatest fears of the banking industry in November 2012, was that Elizabeth Warren would win her bid for Senator from Massachusetts. Their fears came true.
Not one to seek media attention, the men who occupy the corner offices on Wall Street relaxed somewhat when she was not heard from since the election. That all changed on Thursday.
A member of the Senate Banking Committee, she condemned regulators, and suggested they might be “cooking the books”. Bankers in New York and Washington immediately took umbrage with Ms. Warren’s remarks. They claim that no industry has received the intense scrutiny as have the members of the Consumer Bankers Association.
One high level Wall Street executive accused her of “shameless grandstanding”, when she insinuated that stock prices were lower than expectations because investors don’t trust that their accounting is real.
“Most big corporations trade well above book value,” Warren said, referring to the measure of a company’s assets minus liabilities. “But many of the Wall Street banks right now are trading below book value. And I can only think of two reasons why that would be so. One would be because nobody believes that the banks’ books are honest, or the second would be that no one believes that the banks are really manageable.”
Banking officials responded to her remarks claiming consumer lack of confidence, the economy, increased regulations, and other international situations.
Ms. Warren began her career as a Harvard Law Professor specializing in bankruptcy protection law. Her work as a national policy advocate for consumer protection led to the conception and establishment of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Warren served as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). She later served as Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under President Barack Obama. In the late 2000s she was recognized by publications such as the National Law Journal and the Time 100 as an increasingly influential public policy figure.
The financial institutions and Republicans, (many of whose campaigns are partially financed by the banking lobbies), displayed early fear of Ms. Warren. When she was nominated as the permanent director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), right wing opposition claimed that her methods of banking regulation would be “overly zealous”.
I think they’re still lucky none of them served jail time. Their actions under the Bush administration’s policies of de-regulation were the primary reason for our economic collapse. Using less than sound methods to increase profits, including dishonest statements, and promises made to their customers, proved their actions were not at all dissimilar to those of Bernie Madoff.
Columnist-The Guardian Express