Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm Prepared to Be Angry

Elizabeth Warren--possible shunning coming?
If there's one thing that's perfectly indisputable in my mind--and in the minds of just about every progressive in the country--it's that President Obama must appoint Elizabeth Warren to head up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by the financial reform legislation recently passed by Congress. On the whole, this bill is actually pretty trivial in its actual effects, although its being held as the most sweeping reform "since the Great Depression," a phrase that all of us have heard ad nauseam since the financial crisis hit us full in the face in 2008. The consumer financial protection agency is one of the few aspects of the law that actually might accomplish something tangible for the rest of us. And why Warren? Because it was Warren who basically conceived the idea of a consumer watchdog agency over the financial industry in the first place, and it is she who has been ubiquitous in the media articulating the necessity for a strong consumer voice in the affairs of Wall Street and the big banks who control our lives.

But this perfectly logical choice from the standpoint of all the rest of us is anathema to Wall Street. First of all, the banks have succeeded in getting the new agency to be placed under the Federal Reserve; the original plan was to have this agency as a free-standing entity reporting to the president. Of course, pushing something down in the government bureaucracy dilutes its potency. But now the banks don't want anybody whose actually likely to be a real watchdog and ride herd on the shameless thieves who brought the country and the world to its knees two years ago. And what's more, Timothy Geithner, our secretary of the treasury, who has been a cats paw for Wall Street from the beginning, is opposed to her also.

So what will Obama do with this chance to send a clear signal that he is all for consumer protection? Well, do we really doubt that he will slap the jowls of the left and not appoint Warren? And why? In a word, fear. Fear of the banks, fear of Wall Street. Fear of the very people who made the consumer financial protection agency necessary in the first place. How much more proof do we need that the U.S. government is permanently in the hands of corporate America? I am prepared to be thoroughly pissed off at this administration once again. What a disappointment Obama has turned out to be.

Hey, faithful and few readers, Susan and I are on the road again to Louisiana from tomorrow till next Monday. I've put up a few blog entries to tide you over till we get back. 
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