Elizabeth Warren Goes before House on Subcommittee Institutions and Consumer Credit
Joe Nocera’s article in the NYT, “An Advocate Who Scares Republicans” regarding the recent appearance of Elizabeth Warren, President Obama’s advisor on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at a hearing before the House subcommittee, indicated she was being treated like a pinata.
As Nocera pointed out in his article:
“And thus the real purpose of the hearing: to allow the Republicans who now run the House to box Ms. Warren about the ears. The big banks loathe Ms. Warren, who has made a career out of pointing out all the ways they gouge financial consumers — and whose primary goal is to make such gouging more difficult. So, naturally, the Republicans loathe her too. That she might someday run this bureau terrifies the banks. So, naturally, it terrifies the Republicans.
The banks and their Congressional allies have another, more recent gripe. Rather than waiting until July to start helping financial consumers, Ms. Warren has been trying to help them now. Can you believe the nerve of that woman?”
Why is Ms. Warren being attacked?
Ms. Warren is doing her best to help all 50 of the states’ attorney general swiftly reach a settlement with banks involved in the mortgage backed fiasco that contributed to the tanking of the American economy and worldwide economy. Elizabeth Warren wants to help the states’ attorney general reach a fair settlement that also includes “basic rules about how mortgage servicers must treat defaulting homeowners, as well as a requirement that banks look to modify mortgages before they begin foreclosure proceedings.”
However, banks and Republicans on the House committee that questioned Ms. Warren do not seem to appreciate her helping to put guidelines in place that would protect the consumer.
This blog post by Adam Levitin of Credit Slips Blog also explains the attacks in the media on Ms. Warren by the Wall Street Journal and Mary Kissel who worked for Goldman Sachs before joining the WSJ. Levitin refers to this article in the HuffPost by Zach Carter.
Good for the Consumer & Good for the Banks
Come on people. It is possible to find basic rules that provide clear guidelines for consumers and for the banks. Why are the banks so upset with Ms. Warren? Ms. Warren is not anti-banks or anti-business. She just wants to make sure everyone is playing fairly in the world of finance. She wants to demystify the microscopic lengthy contracts that hide the truth about loans and mortgages in the paperwork. She wants to make things absolutely clear to everyone. You would think that would be a good thing.
Representative Steve Pearce, (R-New Mexico) was looking in some kind of crystal ball and acting a big Nostradamasy when he claimed the Consumer Protection Agency would be no better than the “S.E.C. and Mr. Madoff.” Really? He never fully explained this bit of theatre.
Exactly what are the recommendations from the Republicans about how to prevent another meltdown of the economy fueled by outrageous gaming of the system by banks, mortgage companies and brokerage houses? It seems the Republican Congressmen are very good at criticizing anyone with ideas on finance and not so good with addressing the nitty gritty problems other than consulting their talking points memos (a la Frank Luntz) and spewing out little sound bites for the cameras and other media to sop up.
The Current GOP Financial Game Plan Only Makes Things Worse for Americans
Many new Congressmen, especially Tea Party and other Republican politicians, were swept into office in 2010 because they promised to create “jobs” for Americans and to “do things differently.”
Is This The Real GOP Game Plan?
1. Starve government and especially any agency that might help people other than the very very wealthy–those people get big tax breaks that take more money out of the system so there is less for really useful programs.
2. Roll back any legislation that might help people because it would show that President Obama and his fellow democrats are doing good things for all Americans–including people of every party. They can’t let that happen! What would Karl Rove say?
3. Talk a lot about creating jobs but do nothing and then blame President Obama and the democrats for lack of job creation. Continue using Orwellian talking points to confuse people into thinking the GOP is for jobs when in reality they don’t care because the folks looking for jobs are probably all democrats anyway.
4. Work on issues that stall Congress and hold up anything that might really help people because they want to wait until 2012 when they can continue to blame everyone else for all the mess they have helped create.
Thank-you Elizabeth Warren, Someone has to Stand up for the Consumers
Thank you Ms. Warren. We need about 1000 more of you in government focusing on all the problems confronting America and the world. Then, we would surely make positive progress and create jobs and even world peace. It could happen.