If you followed the bouncing ball at all during the 2008-2011 financial crisis, I hope you had the opportunity to hear former FDIC member (2006-2010) Elizabeth Warren lay bare the systematic banking fraud, Wall Street looting and political pay-for-play and revolving-door corruption that led to the bust.
If you’re interested in Warren’s full bio, you can glean it from Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica. Here’s a brief breakdown of her most relevant experience since her metamorphosis from Republican to Democrat and from teenage waitress to speech pathologist to stay-at-home mom to lawyer to professor to chairwoman to U.S. senator to 2020 presidential candidate.
Who Was Elizabeth Warren?
Seventy-year-old Warren was a conservative, Methodist, Middle America, middle-class, Republican who believed in laissez-faire economics. Most of her career involved teaching law at various universities, most notably at Harvard from 1995 to 2011.
It appears that simultaneous to her arrival at Harvard for a one-year teaching stint in 1995 that became permanent, she began advisory positions in Washington, D.C.
Notably, in 1995, she was appointed chair of the National Bankruptcy Review Commission. Here, she worked (unsuccessfully) to oppose the deceptively named Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which severely restricts consumers’ ability to file for bankruptcy. The timing of the passage of this act is interesting given that it was right at the crest of the housing bubble.
In 2006, Warren moved on to the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), the agency that is supposed to federally insure (backstop) the funds that Americans deposit in U.S. commercial banks. For four years, throughout the financial meltdown and banking crisis, she served on the FDIC’s Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion (whatever that is). Again, interesting timing.
As the wheels were coming off the U.S. economy in 2008, crooked crony House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) convinced everyone that we had to back up the money trucks to America’s biggest banks and ponzi corporations or else we were all going to die. Democrat-controlled Congress passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act and authorized the release of $700 billion to Wall Street corporations, using the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) as its arm to distribute the handouts.
Here’s a quick 12-minute subprime explainer video by “60 Minutes” and Jim Grant.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) appointed Warren to chair TARP’s five-member Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the bankster bailout, which she railed against publicly. She argued that the too-big-to-fail banks should be broken up, not propped up.
When the CEOs of America’s largest and most criminal banks were called to testify before Congress, it was Warren who coached and briefed Capitol Hill banking committee members behind the scenes.
She was brilliant at explaining to lay persons how banks manipulated toxic mortgages and derivatives to collect huge fees while passing along the risk to others. Though the topics were complex, she tried her best to shed light on the hidden cesspools polluting our economic systems. She did this while everyone else told us “it’s too complex explain, move along.”
Among the financial press, Warren was viewed as a whistle blower. Among the Occupy Wall Street movement, she was viewed as a rock star. She lobbed intelligent criticism on both the left and right, and she took numerous jabs at Obama’s fiscal policies and failings to prosecute blatant fraud and corruption. She blamed the failure on the influence of Wall Street (money) on politics, which the U.S. Supreme Court essentially codified with its Citizens United decision in 2010.
Around 2010, Americans gradually began to realize that the Obama administration was not going to be prosecuting the banksters. Most of his revolving-door crisis team and appointees went to work for Wall Street after their D.C. stint.
In fact, Obama had called on some of the biggest crooked banksters to help create the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Dodd-Frank was both good and bad. Its deliberate complexity crippled smaller banks that couldn’t afford their own large and dedicated legal departments, and it did nothing to reign in the types of banksterism that cause the bust. But it did allow for the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Obama tasked Warren with creating the CFPB, meaning everything from its practices to its staffing. Warren in 2010 announced that she had selected Richard Cordray to lead the enforcement arm of the newly created bureau.
Like Warren, Cordray was a thorn in the side of banksters and the Crime Syndicate. As interim Ohio attorney general, he won a class action lawsuit against Bank of America that sought damages from individual bank executives and members and the bank’s board of directors. Then, he went after AIG on behalf of Ohio’s public pension funds and won a billion-dollar settlement.
Despite all this, Cordray lost his election bid to his Republican challenger in 2010, a time when “Republican” was practically a dirty word. Did banksters and AIG chief Hank Greenberg have anything to do with Cordray’s narrow loss? Possibly. Months later, he arrived in D.C. to join Warren’s CFPB with the understanding that he intended to run for Ohio governor in 2014.
It was always assumed that Warren would head the CFPB after she completed its formation. But in the summer of 2011, Obama made a surprise public announcement that he has chosen Cordray over Warren as director of the bureau.
“This agency was Elizabeth’s idea, and through sheer force of will, intelligence, and a bottomless well of energy, she has made, and will continue to make, a profound and positive difference for our country,” Obama said during his announcement but offered no explanation as to why she was stepped over. Warren was reportedly incensed.
Two months later, she threw her hat in the ring for the 2012 election for U.S. senator of Massachusetts as a Democrat.
Despite douche-bag Republican operative Karl Rove’s attempt to run an inversion-style smear campaign against her, she solidly won the seat. In the years that followed, we began to see a side of Elizabeth Warren that grew increasingly disturbing. Could it be that during her indoctrination courses as a freshman member of the U.S. Senate, she was shown some radical leftist version of the “Puppet Show”?
Elizabeth Warren: The WTF Years
In the years that followed U.S. Sen. Warren’s election to office, her voice seemed to gradually fade away until 2016, when — in a major WTF!! moment — Warren stumped for the campaign of crime syndicate henchwoman Hillary Clinton. It later emerged that Warren was on Hillary’s Top 5 list of running mates.
Warren should have known that Hillary, like Obama, is a bankster bitch, and that she was never a serious consideration for veep. Hillary just wanted to rob her of social capital and trustworthiness. After Hillary announced Tim Kaine as her running mate, Warren lent her 11th-hour support to Bernie Sanders.
In 2018, Warren moved back into the spotlight, delivering disturbing speeches advocating for the termination of ICE. This was followed by the Pocahontas debacle in 2019 and awkward pep talks on feminism and racism.
For Warren, the social justice crusader costume doesn’t quite fit, because social policy really isn’t her wheelhouse. Watching her try to feign outrage and muster energy for contrived gender issues and the race industry is as disturbing as watching a newly programmed Stepford wife perform her domestic duties. Of course, those who didn’t know the woman before she became a fembot cannot recognize the disturbing transformation.
Liz, what have they done to you?!
The Warren Campaign
You can view Warren’s campaign website here. As I read it, I’m both encouraged and dismayed.
For example, she calls for income-based student debt relief of up to $50,000. That’s great. How does she plan to pay for it? By taxing the 0.1% richest people. Well, Warren should know that the richest 0.1% of Americans don’t pay taxes. They park their money offshore and in tax shelters. Just ask Warren Buffet, who, famously, once told a waitress who was serving him breakfast that she pays more in taxes than he does.
So where’s the money really going to come from? From where most tax dollars come from: the top 20%, meaning most upper-middle class families, small business owners, etc. The people whose household income is between about $90,000 and $600,000 a year. Or it doesn’t happen at all.
How about just a simple flat tax of 10% for all, Liz, and unwinding all of those loopholes Obama said he would eliminate and never did? The more you tax the rich, more of the rich will find ways to evade their taxes.
Warren says we should do away with the electoral college. Why? Because then presidential candidates would have to visit every state, especially the flyover states. Well, that’s totally wrong. The only places candidates would have to go is the most-populated urban centers and California, which is run by Democrat-machine politics. But she’s absolutely right about the corrupting influence of money in political elections.
She correctly identifies the issues with health care, but then her plan is a total government takeover. Government would own the hospitals, pay the doctors, buy the equipment, pay the medical bills, and so on. Would there be any transparency? Who knows. What we do know is that Americans would get the bill and have to hope the system isn’t corrupt, just like now.
How would government take over hospitals and equipment? Lease them? Buy them outright? What about all of the health insurance company employees, and the medical-related public companies? Would the federal government buy them out, too? At what price? And as for doctors, would they unionize? I mean, the questions are never-ending. Such drastic moves would probably crash our economy.
Why not try a public option and price controls first, just as Amy Klobuchar recommends?
The list of things like this goes on and on, but I will mention just one more: the Green New Deal (GND).
Warren supports the GND, which is essentially just a position statement that advocates for a federal government takeover of every aspect of life in America, from business to culture and from education to health care, through complete dissolution of private enterprise and capitalist mechanisms. The federal government would control the means of production. Those things it doesn’t directly own and control, it regulates to the point of oblivion. Given the increasingly Orwellian world we live in today, I find the mere thought terrifying. Total totalitarianism.
These are the things Warren pitches from the debate podium, with an occasional hamster pellet tossed to the social justice warriors. But every once in a while, we see amusing little flickers of the Liz we once felt we knew and respected.
Note that in this clip Buttigieg completely obfuscates and misdirects the valid argument that shadowy billionaires shouldn’t be buying political favors at private parties. Whether or not the candidate is financial successful in their own right is another topic. From best I can tell, Warren and her husband have earned their millions through legitimate means, which is something you can’t say about Tom Steyer. Her sum is paltry compared to Bloomberg but a normal amount for someone of her age and career level.
Warren said she’s not taking any big political donations. She’s often described the problem with Washington, D.C. as being rooted in campaign donations, and vowed to reject private fundraisers and large campaign contributions. She takes pride in her grass-roots movement.
And it’s not like banksters and Wall Street types are lining up to shower her with donations. As Vanity Fair pointed out in October, Wall Street is basically terrified of a Warren presidency.
So it seemed weird that in December reports emerged that hopium smokin’ bankster boy Obama had been spotted secretly tapping wealthy Wall Street bankster types for money to back Warren.
Some political commentators — especially those who cheer lead the hardest for Trump — say they believe Obama and Warren are secretly in cahoots. Sorry, I don’t buy it.
Something is amiss here. They’re not buddies – far from it.
After their aforementioned fallout over the CFPB, she criticized Obama for not holding Wall Street and bank executives accountable for their massive corruption and fraud that led to the bust. And she called out Obama’s administration for their post-crisis positions with Wall Street firms.
More recently, in August 2017, she criticized Obama for receiving a $400,000 speaking fee at a Wall Street conference.
Given that Warren and Obama don’t have a warm and fuzzy friendship (to say the least), it makes one wonder if he’s trying to sabotage her campaign. In other words, perhaps the intent was that — if it looks like she’s going to cinch the nomination — he would anonymously leak to the press a laundry list of Wall Street financiers backing her to sabotage her just prior to the primary.
Where Warren fails – in spades – is on public policy, I’m sad to say. I believe where she would best serve the public is as a banking regulator or a Secretary of Treasury with powers. Other than that, perhaps head of the SEC, or the Federal Reserve.
Here’s a September 2016 video of Warren going after Wells Fargo’s CEO for employee incentive programs that led to massive looting and fraud of their customers. Great example of Warren at her best.
Two of Warren’s public policy positions that scare me the most: abolishing ICE and Medicare for All health care, which means the government takes over the entire health care system from top to bottom, including hospitals. Insurance companies would no longer exist as middle men.
While eliminating middlemen could save costs (theoretically), the U.S. government is too bloated and corrupt to handle the health care of the nation. Look at the V.A. disaster. And how would one even unwind the current system? A better position for her would be the public option, national plans (no state lines), and going after the costs. But if anyone could untangle the mess and sniff out corruption, it’s her.
Bottom line, if she won the election, you can be sure you’d have someone who really wants to be your corner, even if her ideas are bad. I believe the public interest is what’s in her heart. I don’t sense deception. But if she won, the markets — of which finance, medical and education make up a large portion — would likely implode. The paper tiger ponzi scheme of the U.S. economy would undergo massive bear attacks. That would be painful in the short run but perhaps healthy and positive for the middle class in the long-term.
Ultimately, Warren will never be elected because even if she wins the primary, and she outsmarts the crime syndicates, overcomes sabotage and acts like the best DNC fembot there ever was, she lacks a certain special ingredient that American voters require in a president: charisma. American voters are more likely to vote for a charismatic candidate they don’t necessarily like or trust than go with a less-charming but safe choice. Sad but historically true.