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EDITOR’S NOTE: In keeping with the full court press by the mega banks, legislators are following their orders taking aim at anything that could unravel the credit mess, title mess, foreclosure mess and economic crisis in this country. Wall Street is running the show. Maybe somewhere along the line the outrage will grow and there will be a strong backlash against the people of both parties who are following orders.

To make things clear, all Warren wants is transparency and no tricks played against consumers of banking and financial services. That’s it. And that is what Wall Street is opposed to because the more we find out the closer they come to jail time. Once again Wall Street is working hard to take the referees off the playing field so they can bully their way around to steal everyone’s lunch.

Who’s Afraid of Elizabeth Warren?

Today's Economist

Simon Johnson, the former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, is the co-author of “13 Bankers.”

The next big political battle in Washington -– whenever the budget debate is declared over –- is likely to feature the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and whether Elizabeth Warren will become its first official head.

Elizabeth Warren, head of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told a House subcommittee on Wednesday, Harry Hamburg/Associated Press Elizabeth Warren, head of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told a House subcommittee on Wednesday, “We do not envision new rules as the main focus of how the C.F.P.B. can best protect consumers.”

But will this fight feature a classic left vs. right set-piece confirmation showdown in the Senate? Or it will it be resolved with cloaks and daggers closer to the White House – with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner working to prevent Professor Warren’s nomination, or her confirmation if she were nominated?

Ms. Warren was put in charge of establishing the agency by President Obama, but the Treasury retains the powers of the bureau until a permanent director is nominated and confirmed by the Senate — at which point the agency will fall under the authority of the Federal Reserve Board, while operating with a high degree of independence. The president has not yet nominated Ms. Warren to the post nor indicated if he will.

There is much to commend the left vs. right scenario. The Republicans, after all, want to argue that regulation is excessive in general and regulation of financial products is somewhere between unnecessary and dangerous for economic growth in particular.

This theme came up at times during the Dodd-Frank legislative debate on financial regulation last year, but it was largely lost in the larger and more confused conversation.

Now Representative Spencer Bachus, Republican of Alabama, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has Ms. Warren firmly in his sights – with the mortgage settlement negotiations as the flashpoint.

In a recent letter to Secretary Geithner, Mr. Bachus said: “Reports about the role played by political appointees in the Treasury department — including those affiliated” with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “an agency that does not yet have any regulatory or enforcement authority — raise further questions.”

No matter that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau became involved only when the state attorneys general asked for advice. Mr. Bachus is taking the opportunity to follow up on what he said recently: “In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.”

The industry is unhappy because the proposed settlement — or, you could say, its transgressions with regard to foreclosures — could cost them up to $20 billion.

Mr. Bachus would not have a direct voice in any nomination hearing, which is the purview of the Senate, but plenty of Republican senators share his views, including Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the ranking minority member of the Senate Banking Committee. And The Wall Street Journal regularly joins in the chorus opposing Ms. Warren’s views.

Ms. Warren actually represents a much more nuanced view -– arguing that transparency and simplicity, from the perspective of customers, creates a more level playing field and is good for the industry.

Some community bankers seem to be on her side. She is also good at explaining this view, and a confirmation hearing would be the perfect place for the country to witness and hopefully participate in this discussion. (Read her recent speech to the Credit Union National Association or her testimony Wednesday to a House Financial Services subcommittee and make up your own mind.)

As Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio and a member of the Senate Banking Committee, pointedly framed the issues for the foreclosure debacle: “No person or company is above the law. And that’s good for capitalism, it’s not antibusiness, and it’s not a minor inconvenience that can be ignored in pursuit of bigger profits.”

But before you set aside time in the early summer for potentially gripping television from Capitol Hill, Ms. Warren has to get past Secretary Geithner.

During the Dodd-Frank debate, Mr. Geithner frequently asserted that “capital, capital, capital” was all we really needed to fix the financial system. Yet his team agreed to the Basel III agreement, which sets a lower bar for equity financing than Lehman Brothers had on the day before it failed. There is no sign that systemically important financial institutions will be required to have a significant extra capital buffer though this has supposedly not yet been decided.

And despite the undecided capital standards and large evident problems still facing banks (the foreclosure fiasco, commercial real estate woes, continuing high unemployment), the Financial Stability Oversight Council — which Mr. Geithner heads — is about to sign off on letting banks increase their dividends.

This makes no sense at all in terms of economic policy. Yet that is Mr. Geithner’s position. (If anyone you know at Treasury thinks this assessment is unfair, I have laid out this case in recent posts.)

And having Ms. Warren on the scene — providing an alternative, pro-consumer perspective — may not be to his liking.

President Obama missed his best opportunity to reform the financial system when advisers — including Mr. Geithner – recommended in March 2009 that he defer to top bankers, as James Kwak and I noted in “13 Bankers.”

His team further punted when they failed to push for real change in the spring and summer of 2010, while the financial-sector legislation was before the Senate.

Mr. Geithner and his people were instrumental in defeating the Brown-Kaufman amendment, which would have limited the size and the leverage (debt relative to equity) of the largest banks in the United States.

Will Mr. Geithner side with the Republicans in blocking Ms. Warren’s appointment? Will he now help prevent Ms. Warren, potentially the most effective modern regulator, from coming up for a vote in the Senate? That remains to be seen.


27 Responses

  1. 3 to 5 yrs your nest egg will still be scrambled
    not to mention the quiet title thing

  2. Hkcon … Truth… We can only do what we can do. But we must because there’s only so many times you can take it.

  3. A-MAN: O.J., really? c’mon man. O.J. did it!

  4. A-man,
    Geithner is an “ex” bank hack how dare you defend that dirtbag piece of pondscum, Obama? banks decided to back dems this election cycle and guess who got the most bank money? Open your eyes, they trot out one party for the blame on one crisis, the other party for the next.

  5. I do not know why I bother but here goes, if you think that government is the answer, whether dem or rep, you are so sadly mistaken. Both parties are in bed with the bankers, and if you also think that setting up another agency with no accountability, this woman whether she is honest or not, can only be in the position for so long, and then it is some new criminal to take her place. You really think that 20 billion, or 30 billion in her hands as a payoff from the banks to get the government to leave them alone is going to help the likes of us??? It is called divide and conquer, and, at the risk of being a broken record, comments like “Reagan and Bush did it”, or “this happened because of the Repubics” keep you all right where they want you to be, distracted from the real problem of elitist rule, elitists from both “parties” who are bought and paid for by the very banks that have scammed us. These elitists will never fix anything and another flipping bureaucracy that is not elected and does not answer to the people and is unconstitutional is just smoke and mirrors, bread and circuses. We have been, are being, and will always be manipulated slaves until we throw off our blinders and stop voting these same elitist jackasses into office year after year.

  6. It would be a full-time fargin’ job to expose the credentials (or lack thereof) and alliances of most of these WSJ guys and gals. Not to mention all the other spinmeisters (Cavuto,Rush,Hannity). Hats off to Huff Post for that article, and Bill Black, too.

    What I want to know is what cubicle at Wells Fargo is that “Red, White, and Blue Press” shit coming from? It think the other chump who writes that crap is over at Chase. It’s been out there for years. I sent them an e-mail once about them being a “shill” for Wells. It must have been true because he got pretty testy!

    It’s all bullshit. Anyone notice that the propaganda commercials for Wells and Citi and Chase are back on TV?

  7. Ex Goldman Sachs Executive behind smear campaign against Elizabeth Warren. This is why I still trust Obamans. I really pray that I am not wrong.

  8. I thought I was Republician, pro business anti taxes, less government. I’m now independent. I guess a lot of others as well. It’s unbelievable. I listen to their speeches, and I don’t get it. There has got to be some school out there that teaches these people how to win over people yet the opposite is true. They are liers to all end. It must be once they get to Washington, they are immediately corrupted, turned, given the rules……..something. It doesn’t make sense?????????????




  10. If I am not for myself than who is for me?

    I agree with Anonymous UsedKarGuy BSE

    and yes Neil Garfield is a Riteous Man

    Be Strong and Courageous.

    Another thing I read in LATIMES Remember the Bell Corruption case The Judge is gonna dismiss the Civil Case against the Bell City officials. These Judges have alot of guts. The American people will wake up. We arent in the old country where you can get away with this crap.

  11. THE A MAN,

    You were fooled — but had no choice — since Republican choice — was not better.

    Once was Republican too — oh yeah yeah — capitalists for betterment of economy. But — no one told us — only for the betterment of a select few.

    Actually, used to teach this “capitalism” theory — then, discovered what was really happening.

    No party option — no solution — no power for the people. That is what we are left with.

    And, for those conned by the tea party — you were fooled.

  12. The only person who has really been on our side — is Neil. This is from the onset of the crisis fraud.

    No matter how we may disagree with certain posts by Neil —(and Neil knows that I have sometimes disagreed) — Neil is the only one to come to our side — and present all to us that is going on.

    Up to us — to take what Neil gives us — and use it — we cannot sit back and worry only about out individual case. We must stand together –and stop the politics that is preventing your individual rights. Individual cases will only prevail — with our own GROUP power.

    What is going on — is an atrocity.

    Thanks Neil – for all that you have done — and all that you do.

  13. We want the Truth!!!

    Substitute what this guy says with Mortgage loans, Wall Street, the Gov, Banks…..

  14. A-MAN, and everyone else. It’s not Dem or Republican, it’s those at the top 10% who are politically connected, BOTH PARTIES that accomodated the demise of the rule of law. We’re talking law, the Constitution, our Judeo-Christian heritage of personal freedom and a society that lives inside the boundaries of the rule of law. It is only the enforcement of the law that is missing.

  15. Am I reading this right??? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is intended to come under the jurisdiction of the Fed?!? Anyone who thinks the Fed gives a rat’s ass about the common American doesn’t know a damn thing about the Fed. That organization is nothing but of, by and for elitists. Please show me I’m wrong.

  16. Another thing this all happened when George W. Bush was President. The last time this happened was the Savings and Loan Crisis President Reagan and Father Bush were in power.

    So in defense of Geithner Bernanke and Obama they are here to clean up the mess. And it is a big mess. So it is easy to blame them.


  17. Our only choice if frying pan or fire. Obama and the limp di*k Dems have been dismal but on sucking at Wall St’s teat, the GOP is even worse. Possibly the ONLY thing that Obama has done right is to refuse to sign the bill papering over all the illegal things banks have done handed to him by the Dems. On the other hand, if that is what the Dems hand him, what will the Reps hand him? We are f**ed. Both major parties are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Fortune 500 and the Tea Parties are right to be “mad as hell” but they don’t seem to know why or at who. *sigh*

  18. I voted republican all my life I switched to Obama tried something new. He is starting to make Jimmy Carter look good.

    But look at what Obama has to go against so I am still pulling for Obama. Do we have a choice?

    Be strong and courageous.

  19. BSE: I am equally PISSED OFF at the way the Republicans are handling this fiasco. It appears that they, too, are bought and paid for by the banks. I will spend the entire day tomorrow, Friday, calling Republicans and letting them know they are losing my vote and the vote of anyone else I can tell this story to.

  20. The news channels are so focused on the disaster in Japan that, the banksters are having a field day here in our country.

    They have illegally nuked the financial lives of over 50,000,000 Americans, they have financially nuked our country.

    They have created a system that brands you as a dead beat, they have used the credit scoring system to destroy you financially, morally and emotionally.

    What ever you do your credit score as it has been designed and used, has less to do with your character and more to do with what benefits the banksters.

    We live in a pyramid scheme of a system, the payola systems has been ramped up in our legislatures, and congress.

    The responsible parties are shielded.

    The US Government believes that by protecting the criminals they are protecting the country, can you see something wrong with this picture???

    By protecting corruption and cronyism The Russians had their revolution and over 40,000,000 were killed as a result. The Chinese had their cultural revolution and the country literally imploded with misery and poverty.

    We are doing the same here in the name of something they have tried to call “capitalism”, but they forgot that this country’s vitality, creativity, growth comes out of its people, out of the free enterprise system, out of ingenuity and not out of Wall Street or its banks that have made it a specialty in their business of creating bubbles to exploit the discrepancies and inequalities in the system to benefit a few risk takers that have used other people’s money to profit from disaster.

    right now the same fat cats and banksters are repackaging the same toxic crap they created and sold, making it more complicated for the common man, they have started trading on new Credit Default Swaps. You see they are too attractive, they have no regulation, they can be manipulated and the best part is that they use your money and my money to speculate and get super rich.

    right now these Wall Street vultures are profiting from the death and disaster in Japan. They have already placed BETS as if they are in Macao or Las Vegas for all sorts of scenarios. The worst part is that the parties that are supposed to care and pay out for this bets have no money to support and avail these illegal and fraudulent bets.

    The Japanese have already flushed 186 billion dollars down this drain since Friday. They flushed all this money into financial vehicles to keep the crooks making money while the people are in total desolation, radiation exposure, and almost without hope.

    There you go, it is not Capitalism, it is unmeasurable greed, corruption, unethical behavior that is killing our economies and it will be the sword that will make our country collapse financially and the same crooks and gangsters we so prominently show on TV and allow to speculate with our futures will get a bail out, even though all the money they stole is safe in the Cayman islands, Switzerland and other tax shelter corruption enabling sham countries all over the world. These countries thrive of stolen money from these crooks, from dictators, from drug dealers, etc.

    There is definitely something wrong with this picture.

  21. Geithner reminds me of the hideous character Renfield in Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula. The only difference between the two is that eventually Renfield had an attack of conscience. I don’t see that happening to Geithner. He’s too far gone.

    Of course the same could be said of those other two monkeys Bachus and Shelby. Who votes for these idiots?

  22. They need to fear the people.

  23. Yes BSE, I’m certainly thinking along the same lines. Save your money and earn as much as possible. If one doesn’t quite have enough, then get your ducks in line with another family member(s) or friend(s) and pool your monies to get a cheap home. And do not go to a bank to get a loan. Time to take them out of the loop. I’d rather pay interest to a friend or family then pay interest and contribute to the millions dollar salary’s.

    If only the masses would get those monkeys off their backs, then that would put a stop to their trading on Wall Street off of our work and their damn debt games. Those A-holes contribute not a damn thing to Society but oh they want you to believe so. God they piss me off to no end. I hate to say this, but I really wish, really wish………..I’m not an evil person, but the thoughts that come to mind, oh my lord.

    I saw a picture somewhere here on the internet and it showed a sign of a protestor during the 2008 meltdown, on Wall Street ……….and the point of view of the sign was pointing up to a tall building……and up there in the windows were men in suits looking down at the demonstrators…….the sign said “Jump You Bastards”. Now I get it.

  24. There are over 11 million foreclosures in this country and still counting. Maybe I should wait until the values are down to pocket change then I can walk from this home and pay cash for another. I will no longer need a bank for a loan.

    Folks , Just remember it all looks the same with your eyes closed.

  25. […] Source: Livinglies’s Weblog […]

  26. Government Sachs

  27. I voted Republican all my life. Next time they will not get my vote because it looks like Wall Street now owns these bastards. This is no longer a country
    for the tax payer but a country for who works within Goldman Sachs who now runs the government. Crime does pay if you work for Wall Street , the banks and now for the US Government. .

    What a scam !

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