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Misterbadexample On October - 14 - 2014

English: Elizabeth Warren speaking at March 29...

Last week, Elizabeth Warren (author, Harvard Law professor, and Democratic Senator) took her cross-hairs off her regular targets (the bankers and the regulators) and opened up on President Obama and his administration instead in a quote that has been bouncing around the web for the last week:

“They protected Wall Street. Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. And it happened over and over and over”

I’ve been following Senator Warren’s career since 2003 when her book The Two Income Trap came out. She expanded on the themes of her book in a June 2007 lecture at UC Berkeley. The lectures’ title–THE COMING COLLAPSE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS–comes closer to predicting the 2008 meltdown than any of the pundits on CNBC. And she divined the reasons for the meltdown and continued economic sluggishness–the fact that the middle class needs 104 paychecks a year to pay for a lifestyle their parents had with 52.

Watch the video: her contention is that the middle class couldn’t survive any slippage in employment and hope to pay for continued price increases in the cost of housing, college and medical care.

We’re now seven years past the point when Warren and others sounded the alarm. She got to form the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, though she couldn’t run it–The administration decided they didn’t want to fight a Senate filibuster of her appointment (or maybe the many Dems who depend on campaign money from Wall Street made their voices heard privately at the White House).

And we’re now five years away from an economic meltdown that was almost totally caused by the Wall Streeters who turned the market into a casino. Not a single Wall Street miscreant has been indicted for what has to be the biggest financial crime in world history (a minimum of $22 Trillion disappeared from the US economy, largely due to Wall Street’s lack of regulation).

If it had been the Gambino Crime family involved in the mortgage scams, phony derivatives swaps and the sabotaging of the  MBS bonds, the RICO indictments would have been stacked to the rafters and the perp-walk would have been the length of the Isle of Manhattan. Instead,  the hapless Eric Holder (and his man Lanny Breuer) let the statute of limitations run out with zero criminal indictments. Holder didn’t even hold out for criminal prosecutions for drug money laundering and manipulating LIBOR. And predictably, Wall Street is back to its old games.

And now Wall Street has retreated nearly 800 points from its top in September.

Part of the anger welling up against Obama and the Democrats (and it may be enough to tip the Senate red in November) is that the people who put us in the economic ditch never paid a price. I just re-watched the famous 2009 confrontation between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer, and you can see the contempt growing in Stewart with each self-serving statement Cramer makes. That anger still burns hot with many of us, but very few people in politics even give the issue of the lack of banker accountability for 2008 lip service these days.

Elizabeth Warren is probably one of the most trusted people in the Senate (along with Socialist Bernie Sanders). She has been stumping for Senate Democrats for weeks now, so no one can accuse her of riding off the range. It seems to me she can see the coming electoral disaster in the tea leaves, and is hoping for some acknowledgement from the White House that we’re back to where we were in 2008. Don’t attack the messenger just because you don’t like her message.

12 Responses so far.

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  1. monicaangela says:

    My opinion MBE is not that Elizabeth Warren is unloading on the Obama administration, it is that Elizabeth Warren is unloading on the system period. In the following video she blames both administrations for the current problems we face. I agree with her. The system is set up to allow some to break the law with impunity and none of the leadership in this nation even questions the manner in which the government has been skewed to favor the wealthy. Enjoy!


    • Sabreen60 says:

      Sorry, I don’t buy the false equivalency meme. Dodd-Frank, PBO’s DOJ going after fraud in banking and home foreclosures would NEVER happen under a Republican Administration. Clinton is guilty of getting rid of Glass-Seagall and Bush went even further with deregulation. AG Holder has gone after fraud cases that actually broke the law. However, you can’t prosecute those who are engaged in activities you and I don’t like, but are in fact legal. Again read Spandan’s article I linked to below. He’s a wonderful writer and one of the best writers I’ve read. You can be sure he has facts in order before he writes and article.

      • monicaangela says:

        So you believe money laundering is legal. Really?

        HSBC ‘sorry’ for aiding Mexican drugs lords, rogue states and terrorists
        Executive quits in front of US Senate as bank faces massive fines for ‘horrific’ lapses that resulted in laundering money for drugs cartels and pariah states.

        Executives with Europe’s biggest bank, HSBC, were subjected to a humiliating onslaught from US senators on Tuesday over revelations that staff at its global subsidiaries laundered billions of dollars for drug cartels, terrorists and pariah states.

        Lawmakers hammered the British-based bank over the scandal, demanding to know how and why its affiliates had exposed it to the proceeds of drug trafficking and terrorist financing in a “pervasively polluted” culture that persisted for years.

        A report compiled for the committee detailed how HSBC’s subsidiaries transported billions of dollars of cash in armoured vehicles, cleared suspicious travellers’ cheques worth billions, and allowed Mexican drug lords buy to planes with money laundered through Cayman Islands accounts.

        Other subsidiaries moved money from Iran, Syria and other countries on US sanctions lists, and helped a Saudi bank linked to al-Qaida to shift money to the US.

        http://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/jul/17/hsbc-executive-resigns-senate

        And that is just one example. If you think these crimes were legal, I don’t know where you are getting your information, but believe me this was NOT legal under any countries statues. Why do you think these banks are paying these large fines if they aren’t guilty of breaking the law?

        LIBOR, MORTGAGE FRAUD, AND THE LIST GOES ON…these things were NOT legal.

        • Sabreen60 says:

          I am not familiar with what has recently happened. I thought the discussion was what happened during the Great Recession and the years that followed. I asked you to read Spandan’s article because he mentions and links to prosecutions that have occurred with the current DOJ. Has every criminal been prosecuted, no. Do I know what’s in the pipeline of the DOJ, no. Do I believe more could have been done, probably. All I know is that when PBO came into office our economy was circling the drain. What should have been the priorities? Go after the banks even as they were folding, e.g. Lehman Brothers. Go after Bank of American for unfair foreclosures. Even go after Bush, Chaney et al or try to save the economy. Quiet as it’s kept, if the banks had tanked and Wall Street crashed (see Great Depression), trying to accomplish anything else at that time would have been useless, IMO. So, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree about this also.

  2. kesmarn says:

    MBE, I read the original interview with Elizabeth Warren on which a lot of these headlines are based, and I have to say that in the context of the interview as a whole the summaries and headlines are somewhat misleading.

    The persons she really unloads on are Tim Geithner and Larry Summers (and probably rightfully so). They’re the ones she’s talking about when she makes the comment about the fact that “they chose Wall Street over families over and over.” She’s actually pretty supportive of the President throughout the greater part of the interview.

    For example, when it comes to her own Consumer Financial Protection Agency, she has this to say:

    If Barack Obama had not been president of the United States we would not have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Period. I’m completely convinced of that. And I go through the details in the book, and I could tell them to you. But he was the one who refused to throw the agency under the bus and made sure that his team kept the agency alive and on the table. Now there was a lot of other stuff that also had to happen for it to happen. But if he hadn’t been there, we wouldn’t have gotten the agency.

    There’s no doubt that she has her own point of view and it does differ from the President’s in some respects, but I think this interview may have been spun as representing more conflict than there really was, to some extent in order to get clicks.

    The Salon interview can be found here: http://www.salon.com/2014/10/12/exclusive_elizabeth_warren_on_barack_obama_they_protected_wall_street_not_families_who_were_losing_their_homes_not_people_who_lost_their_jobs_and_it_happened_over_and_over_and_over/

  3. AdLib says:

    Here’s another story on the theme I mentioned in my other comment, corporations starting to reap what they’ve sown on oppressing the majority on wages:

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc cut its annual sales forecast on Wednesday, citing a stronger dollar and the impact of food stamp reductions, and it said it would slow store openings in the next financial year as it shifts spending to its online business.

    The announcements, made at an annual gathering of analysts and investors, highlight how the financial struggles of its core customer base -- low-income consumers -- continue to weigh on its earnings and have prompted a more cautious stance on traditional bricks-and-mortar expansion.

    http://news.yahoo.com/wal-mart-cuts-full-sales-growth-forecast-211722955--finance.html

  4. Sabreen60 says:

    With all due respect, I think you are missing a lot of facts. IMO, Elizabeth Warren has a short memory. Here are other “independent bloggers” comments on Warren. And yes the TPV article by Spandan is spot on IMO. http://www.thepeoplesview.net/main/2014/10/13/leftist-poutrage-artists-again-team-up-with-far-right-to-trash-obama

    It also bothers me that Dems seem to want to trash the President and other Dems prior to a very important mid-term election. I smell a rat. Looking at you Hillary and Bill Clinton and your flunky Panetta. IMO, Warren could have kept her mouth shut until after the elections. Especially, since she seems to have convenient amnesia.

    BTW, given the fact that most of President Obama nominees didn’t even get an up or down vote in the Senate -- you know that whole cloture thing -- Warren was NEVER going to be confirmed. In fact, that was a sure way, along with not approving funding for the Agency, to make sure it never saw the light of day.

    Of course, maybe, “independents” would RATHER have Teapublicans running the show.

    • AdLib says:

      Sabreen, I’ve been thinking about writing an article about that as well. The “hip” thing to do now if you’re a trendy Lefty is to diss Obama.

      Yep, these Dems are so right, we would have been so much better protected against Ebola and ISIS if Romney was elected in 2012 instead and had bombed Iran.

      Well, maybe these geniuses will have another opportunity to vote for Romney in 2016! They must be so excited at that prospect.

  5. AdLib says:

    MBE, I am a big fan of Elizabeth Warren and her sensibilities really nail the biggest problem in our nation, economic injustice and disparity.

    The system of corrupt capitalism that dominates the US is destructive to the 99% in the short term but self-destructive to the 1% long term.

    With the rising cost of living and stagnant and in some cases, declining wages, these greedy idiots are only now starting to realize that they’re sabotaging their own economic futures.

    A story that’s been making the rounds lately is that major corporations are having to project lower revenues than expected in future quarters and years because consumers have less and less expendable cash. Here’s one article on that:

    Their Own Words–Nation’s Top Retailers Deeply Worried About Stagnant Wages and Middle-Class Weakness

    CAP’s analysis, “Retailer Revelations: Why America’s Struggling Middle Class Has Businesses Scared,” showed that 88 percent of the top 100 U.S. retailers cite weak consumer spending as a risk factor to their stock price, while 68 percent cite falling or flat incomes as risks.

    http://www.americanprogress.org/press/release/2014/10/14/98580/release-in-their-own-words-nations-top-retailers-deeply-worried-about-stagnant-wages-and-middle-class-weakness-new-cap-report-shows-2/

    When you depress wages, fight minimum wage increases, don’t provide health care to your employees and squeeze workers down just to wring higher bonuses for yourself, they don’t have enough money to buy your products. It’s Bizarro Henry Ford, pay your workers so little they can’t afford to buy the product their company makes. That’s typical 21st Century Capitalist thinking.

    Kill the golden goose to get that gold now and worry about not having more golden eggs later.

    I still have the feeling that our economy is teetering despite the high level of the stock market. It just reflects that the wealthy are getting wealthier but if the weakness of the 99%’s income reaches a critical mass, I could imagine a domino effect that could lead to another recession.

    A rising tide raises all ships but a tsunami of greed will leave everyone underwater.

  6. EXFANOFARIANA says:

    Phenomenal article.MBE. Had to share it on FB and will also do so in many, many other independent bloggers!


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