- On September 17, New York Times writers Jackie Calmes
and Sewell Chan headlined, "Obama Picks Warren to Set Up Consumer
- Obama appointed Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren
"to oversee" the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection
(BCFP) "until a director is named later. The appointment (will let
her) get the agency up and running without having to go through a contentious
(Senate) confirmation battle," one she might lose because of Republican
and industry opposition.
- She'll be an assistant to the president, a "czar"
for some, a designation held by numerous other White House advisors. She'll
also be a Treasury Secretary advisor, reporting jointly to Obama and Tim
- Who Is Elizabeth Warren?
- A bio on the elizabethwarren.com web site includes the
- At age 16, she was an Oklahoma state champion debater.
- Her education includes a BS from the University of Houston
(1970) and a JD from Rutgers Law School (1976) where she was Editor to
the Rutgers Law Review.
- She taught law at Rutgers, the University of Michigan,
the University of Houston Law Center, the University of Texas School of
Law, and University of Pennsylvania's School of Law before joining Harvard
Law School in 1992, where she's now Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law.
- She's also a member of the FDIC's Committee on Economic
Inclusion, the Executive Council of the National Bankruptcy Conference,
as well as former Vice-President of the American Law Institute, a member
of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Chief Adviser to the
National Bankruptcy Review Commission.
- In addition, until her new appointment, she headed the
Congressional Oversight Panel administering the $700 billion Troubled Asset
Relief Program (TARP) for banks, but couldn't constrain their multi-trillion
dollar bailout, interest-free money, and virtual regulatory freedom.
- Her writings include over 100 scholarly articles, six
academic books, and several best-selling ones. Co-authored with her daughter,
Amelia Warren Tyagi, her most recent one is "All Your Worth: The Ultimate
Lifetime Money Plan." An earlier 2003 one with her daughter is titled,
"The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going
Broke," written years before the current economic crisis. It's devastating
many more of them, their numbers steadily increasing because of financial
predators Warren will have little power restraining. That's the problem.
- Obama's so-called financial reform gives Wall Street
a free pass. Described as the most sweeping package since the 1930s, it's,
in fact, virtually toothless, an earlier article calling it "a stealth
scheme for global monetary control," can be accessed through the following
- A follow-up one explained more, accessed though the link
- It's business, not consumer-friendly, and why not when
powerful insiders wrote it.
- In June 2009, The New York Times explained how, saying:
- "In the last two weeks alone, the administration
has heard from top executives from Goldman Sachs, MetLife, Allstate, JPMorgan
Chase, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Barclays, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley,
Travelers, Prudential and Wells Fargo, among others. Administration officials
also discussed the president's plan with the top lobbyists at major financial
trade associations in Washington."
- Among other provisions, the bill gives the Wall Street
owned Federal Reserve greater power. It lets big banks be self-regulating,
facilitates greater consolidation, crowds out smaller firms, and establishes
a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP), unable to rein in financial
excesses, including abusive mortgage lending that fueled the housing crisis.
- Yet New York Times writers Calmes and Chan were effusive,
- "Basically, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
will be a watchdog for the American consumer, charged with enforcing the
toughest financial protections in history."
- False. It's pretense, a veneer of change, not the real
thing, a line from Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore explaining it,
- "Things are seldom as they seem. Skim milk masquerades
as cream," especially for corporate interests, Wall Street heading
its queue, making the key rules, getting its way, including what passes
for financial reform. It's cover for business as usual.
- While the BCFP will supposedly oversea banking practices
regarding credit cards, mortgages, payday loans, student loans, and other
consumer financial products, exempted are financial institutions with less
than $10 billion in assets as well as auto financing. Further, BCFP power
to review large firms will be impeded by their ability to circumvent rules
to do pretty much as they please. They wrote the new rules to assure it.
Otherwise, "financial reform" wouldn't have passed.
- Yet Obama called Warren "one of the country's fiercest
advocates for the middle class," and the BCFP a new "watchdog."
In name only, in fact, because Wall Street owns Washington, permeates government,
and runs it like a subsidiary, its people in charge of what counts most
- the nation's money handled by the US Treasury and Federal Reserve that,
of course, has nothing to do with government. It's a private institution
owned and controlled by bankers, big ones, chairman Bernanke serving them,
not popular interests, a status no consumer "watchdog" will change
or even challenge.
- In fact, the BCFP will come under the Fed after July
21, 2011, though the new law prohibits any interference. However, the Treasury's
new Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) has veto power over BCFP
policies. It's also a step toward world money and banking control, perhaps
with one currency under a global central bank, banking giants, the IMF,
and other international lending agencies. Against them, the most dedicated
consumer watchdog will be impotent.
- Warren, of course, is a temporary appointee, a director
to be chosen by mid-2011. She also won't serve on the FSOC that has real
power under Geithner. Her role is more "show" than "dough,"
to provide a veneer of credibility with little enforcement muscle.
- Further, though critical of banker bailouts, she fully
supports Obama's policies. Why else would she be appointed, not to criticize
that would get her removed and replaced. Consumer advocacy praise for her
is premature, given how little authority she'll have, and her reluctance
to bite the hand that selected her.
- Stay tuned. Wall Street's power is undiminished, its
hand firmly in control, its agents running the Fed and Treasury, in charge
of the nation's money.
- Remember what Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744 - 1812,
founder of the family's banking dynasty) once said:
- "Give me control of a nation's money and I care
not who makes the laws," or what laws they make. Consumer watchdogs
are no antidote against that kind of power, not when Congress, the administration
and courts stand firmly in support, spurning populist interests, Democrats
no different from Republicans.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
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