Sunday, September 19, 2010

Elizabeth Warren, "Simplistic and Hyperbolic"?

Sins Fred Hiatt and his crew, of course, would never commit. Seriously,
We have qualms about Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor President Obama has put in charge of setting up the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The new body, which will have a half-billion-dollar budget and wide regulatory power over mortgages, credit cards and the like, was her brainchild. It emerged from Warren's zealous campaign against what she called the "tricks and traps" of the banking industry, which has made her a hero to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Like many such activists, however, Ms. Warren can be simplistic and hyperbolic.
It seems like a cheap shot, and the fact that no member of Fred's editorial board had the guts to sign the column reinforces that impression. I have not followed everything Professor Warren has said, and pretty much anybody can be simplistic and hyperbolic at times. Even Washington Post columnists.1 But seriously, not even one "for instance"?

For that matter, if "simplistic and hyperbolic" is a big problem for you, no qualms over running this? Those problems are balanced out by its surfeit of platitudes and partisanship?
1. Arguably, "simplistic and hyperbolic" is Charles Krauthammer's preferred style of writing.


  1. She is simplistic because she is a trained socialist hack and nothing more.

    Her job is to wreck the financial industry to enhance Obama's power. That is it.

    Everything else is lies. Complete, naked, shamless lies.

  2. You really think you're going to convince people of your point of view with ad hominem abusive?

  3. Re the value of attack comments: yes

    Re: Elizabeth Warren - I think the most likely outcome of her term of service will be "nothing substantive." The agency she heads was emasculated from creation and I have seen nothing from this administration to make me believe that it is any more interested in/capable of fundamental change in this area than its predecessor. (Remember AIG)


  4. Have you ever heard Elizabeth Warren speak on these issues? Including the statements she made long before Obama was even the Democratic nominee? The biggest surprise is that, despite the apparent effort of Administration insiders to marginalize her, she's still part of the Obama team and is pushing ahead with her work. In an agency that was her idea. Yes, the compromise version of the agency is hobbled, but I'm taking a "wait and see" attitude on what she can accomplish.

    As for the AIG bailout, that started in August, 2008 with a gift... or am I supposed to call it an "infusion" of $85 billion. Obama does need to take ownership for many aspects of the bailouts and TARP, but you can't hang AIG on him.

  5. Please don't misunderstand, my least favorite (for the most part) things about the current administration are all pretty much carry overs from the past one. So I'm not laying all of the blame for the AIG fiasco at his feet.

    On the other hand, he sure didn't do anything to change the policy on AIG, he rolled over on the bonsuses, and from where I sit, he endorsed the people and policy that got us the AIG debacle . . . so yeah, in a very real sense, I hang the AIG thing on him.


  6. Both parties have embraced service of the wealthy as a core part of their agendas, if not as official parts of their platforms. That's no surprise, really, given how money-dependent politics has become, and... let's face it, the interests of the wealthiest @5% of the population has always dominated the domestic agenda.

    I'm not sure I quite buy into Dean Baker's theory that the whole bail-out was a scam, although to the extent that we assume the world's economy would have survived had the Fed taken over the commercial paper market and allowed the major financial institutions to work out their own problems or fail, he may have a point. Would that cure have been worse than the disease? It's hard to know - but it isn't hard to see that the bailout was designed to put banks back on solid footing even if that came at the expense of everybody else.

    It is appalling that the government has been unwilling to hold accountable any of the people responsible for this mess, from those who were supposed to be policing the markets but who instead chose to become captive or corrupted by the revolving door, to those in the financial services industry who engaged in wholesale fraud. Even the "huge" fine assessed against Goldman Sachs was a fig leaf - nominally a large amount of money but, in terms of their profits, nothing. It seems that you literally had to be running a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme to be deemed worthy of criminal prosecution.


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