A bit on the new consumer protection agency +++ FinReg with Thom Hartmann and Matt Taibi
Over at My Left Nutmeg the Working Families Party is gunning to get Senator Chris Dodd to do the right thing and push for a vote on Elizabeth Warren for the new consumer protection agency (CPA):
This is unfortunately a typical beltway chess move. If there's someone you (or your friends / donors / firms you may want to work for after retirement) don't like up for an appointment, without providing specific character or professional criticisms, you just go to some reporter and make vague, subjective pronouncements that the candidate in question may not be the most popular choice, or might not have the best chance at confirmation. The strategy is to push that person down the list and bring another, more favorable candidate to the top.
Liz Warren is the exact opposite of the Wall Street/DC insider like Tim Geithner and Larry Summers who make the revolving door between the corporate traders' office and the lobbyist and Hill staff offices spin faster than a roulette wheel. As an academic she's studied the effects of economic changes on real families. She knows what fixes to make to cut down on risky profit taking behavior that leads to things like the housing bubble. And better yet, she has the ability to explain in layman's terms why this risky behavior is bad for the whole country, and even bad for capitalism. Liz Warren does not deserve to be torpedoed like this, and if it's true the votes aren't there for a real friend of the consumers (and taxpayers!) then let's find out which Senators are on board and which are not (I'm looking at you, Schumer!). Voters will be interested to know what Senators' views are.
Today I got an email from Working Families, and what do you know they are asking for input to give to Dodd. Here's my two cents I put in the email form:
Senator Dodd - Liz Warren would be an outstanding advocate for us "real americans" back in Connecticut whose taxes have been used to bail out Wall Street's reckless behavior. She deserves a fair and open hearing, and if Republicans (or any Democrats for that matter) want to side with Wall Street and vote against a strong consumer advocate who knows how to reform the system to put long term American prosperity before short term profit taking, let those Senators put their vote on the record. I am very disappointed that you chose to go to the media and take potshots at her viability. This torpedoing is the kind of crass, inside-the-beltway politics that make voters cynical about Washington. Put your fellow senators on the record and stop playing games. I expect someone of your stature and experience to stand up and do the right thing.
You can sign the petition here, and be sure to let Dodd know consumers and taxpayers are paying attention!
Below is a Thom Hartmann interview of Matt Taibi that discusses the importance of the new consumer protection agency and also a heck of a lot on the legislation and how it came to be.
At about 5 minutes in they start talking about the Consumer Protection Agency being the highlight of reform... At about 7 minutes they start discussing Sen. Dodd and they are lambasting him and his efforts to block a lot of the teeth in the bill.
The whole thing is worth watching/listening to. But it ain't a pretty picture of some Dems and FinReg legislation overall.
At least we got the CPA and a very limited peek into the books of the big banksters' funders out of this legislation. As limited as it is, and as Taibi notes, investigation of the short time period may still be enough to tear the roof off of some of the scammers.
To make sure what little we got out of it does have teeth? We need to get someone EXACTLY like Warren at the helm of the new agency. May as well be Warren because we know she has some integrity and a heck of a lot of knowledge in the field. Something that may help counter the immoral money religion that Wall Street and the banks have clearly become.