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« Anti-colonial Kenyan environmentalism | Main | Meanwhile »

Sep 17, 2010


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I was skeptical that Obama would really appoint Warren. I'm happy to have been wrong. Though I still can't help suspecting that this is largely a pre-election move to cheer up disgruntled liberals and motivate them to turn out to vote, and that in the end, the Bureau won't have much bite. If the post does prove to have real teeth and resources, I'll once again be very happy to have been wrong. That's the nice thing about being a pessimist.

Andrew Brod

Eric, you're not quite wrong after all. Warren is going to lead the effort to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She hasn't been appointed to actually run the CFPB, which is what liberals really wanted. Conservatives have said they'd make trouble if Warren were nominated to head that bureau, and this is how the White House has reacted.


Conservative reaction to Warren = They care more about Wall Street than about you and me. Better to allow Wall Street to lie, cheat and steal than to protect the rest us of from liars, cheats and thieves who happen to work on Wall Street.

We knew that, though.


Andrew -- Yeah, I'm trying my best to give Obama the benefit of the doubt on that aspect of the appointment. Given the certainty of a stupid fight and filibuster if the appointment had to go through a Senate confirmation, this seems like a tactically smart move. And the set-up can be as important as the follow-through, so it's good to see Warren overseeing the process.

See, I can do optimistic. Really.

Jim Langer

Warren's book, "The Two-Income Trap" helped convince me to only buy enough house we could afford on one of two incomes. She's smart as a tack. Glad she's in there in some capacity. Just wish my wife had heeded my first choice: keep renting until the bubble burst.

If Republicans have their way and win Congress, maybe they'll abolish the Consumer Agency, thinking the vaunted invisible hand and rational consumer are real. Right. No one ever learns.


"If Republicans have their way and win Congress....."

It won't be the "Republicans having their way", it will be the voting public having their way.

When the new Congress convenes in January, the balance of regulatory control will change, even if by some miracle the dems manage to retain control of the House. Either way, Warren will have virtually no effect.

Here's a little typically pessimistic context from the Left:

"In the long run, I doubt very much whether the outcome of this fight will matter. Regardless of whether Warren is the agency's first chair or not, the odds are high that the agency will end up being captured by the banking and financial industries it is supposed to regulate."

I like this comment at that site:

"Whatever the new tsar does, she will face immense bureaucratic resistance inside the Fed, which does not want her, and is not kindly to outsiders. Just getting office space, tables, and chairs will be a challenge.

The rules will be meet with challenges from every lawyer and lobbyist on K Street. The tsar will come to believe that the proposed rules were replaced by Jonathan Swift's 'Modest Proposal'. The tsar will be denounced by politicians from both parties on the evening news and the Sunday morning gabfests.

The only conclusion I can draw is that the tsar will have to have the political skills of a Bismark and the hide of a rhinoceros. My best guess is Prof. Warren, if she were to be named tsar, would be on the road to Cambridge with her tail between her legs within a year."

There are many factors working against Warren, mostly from those who are supposedly on her side of the political/social/economic spectrum. All this "appointment" does is solve a political problem for Obama and Dems by effectively neutralizing Warren under a smoke and mirrors routine.

She won't have a chance to try to ram through her most radical ideas, like mortgage cramdowns, regardless of what happens in November. She won't like being denied influence in other areas she will want to claim as her own. I give her 18 months max before she bails or is forced out.


I missed this little gem last time:

"Conservative reaction to Warren = They care more about Wall Street than about you and me. Better to allow Wall Street to lie, cheat and steal than to protect the rest us of from liars, cheats and thieves who happen to work on Wall Street."

THAT is THE Hoot of the Month, perhaps of the entire year!

Timothy Carney:

"But if you skip the rhetoric and focus instead on verifiable facts -- campaign contributions, administration appointees, White House visitor logs, Obama's bailouts and even his proposed regulations -- you see instead that Obama may be closer to Wall Street than any modern president.

Obama raised $14.8 million from Wall Street in the 2008 election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics -- more than any politician ever, and more than George W. Bush raised in both of his elections combined. From the fattest cat, Goldman Sachs, Obama raised $997,095, more than four times McCain's Goldman haul and more than any candidate has raised from any single company since the McCain-Feingold campaign finance regulations.

Then there's the revolving door between Wall Street and the West Wing, spinning as rapidly as ever. Citigroup's and Goldman's tentacles into the White House have been well-documented by Obama critics on the Right (most thoroughly by Michelle Malkin in her best-seller "Culture of Corruption") and the Left (most famously by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone).

And on the substance, Obama's policies and proposals have been a boon to Wall Street interests."

More context:

"While the House Financial Services Committee was tweaking the reform bill proposed by the Obama Administration this summer, the New Democrats pushed back on key regulatory issues. One of the biggest: derivatives, the complex financial instruments that helped spark the global financial crisis. Most derivatives are traded in murky over-the-counter deals. The Administration wanted to push some of them onto regulated trading platforms. But that would have crimped one of Wall Street's most lucrative businesses: The top five U.S. commercial banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America, were on track through the second quarter to earn more than $35 billion in 2009 trading unregulated derivative contracts, according to a review of company filings with the Federal Reserve and people familiar with the banks' income sources.So JPMorgan, along with Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse (CS), lobbied McMahon, Bean, and other New Democrats to temper the proposed rules.

The New Democrats in turn reached out to Frank. As Obama vowed in the Sept. 14 speech in New York's Federal Hall to correct 'reckless behavior' on Wall Street, McMahon and Frank sat together in the audience and discussed the Administration's proposed rules. The freshman congressman told Frank he was worried that Obama's derivatives plan would penalize a wide swath of U.S. corporations, not just banks, and would push jobs overseas. McMahon said Frank agreed it was important to protect so-called end-users, the corporations that rely on derivatives to hedge against fluctuations in foreign currencies, interest rates, and commodity prices. 'He said we'd be working together on this,' McMahon told Bloomberg News. 'We never had a philosophical difference.'"

Maybe corbs ought to be talking about the "liars, cheats and thieves who happen to work in the democrat congressional Caucus" instead of villifying those "eeeeeeeeeeeeevil conservatives" via lame, worn out lefty agenda memes.

Jim Langer

Bubba, as it will still be divided government, truth is, no one have their way.


"truth is, no one have their way."

Unless forced out early, Obama and his Administration minions will still control all the usual administrative options to bypass Congress and the people by creating law and policy by fiat, until January 20, 2013.

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