Geithner Won’t Quit in Battle Over Elizabeth Warren – WE NEED YOU NOW!

The Wall Street Journal has come out with a story that may signal the end of the road for Elizabeth Warren, and frankly, I find it a disgusting turn of events that the banking lobbyists will likely win this battle and get rid of the only pro-consumer person in the administration.  The article, which was in the December 30th edition of the WSJ, titled: U.S. Seeks Chief For Financial Consumer Agency, says:

White House adviser Elizabeth Warren and a top lieutenant are quietly asking business and consumer groups for names of people who might run the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, people familiar with the matter said.

The hunt suggests that Ms. Warren, a lightning rod for some bankers, might not be selected to lead the bureau, a centerpiece of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill that passed this summer. Still, many liberal groups will push to get her in the post.

First of all, let me just register my displeasure at how they are branding Ms. Warren “liberal” as opposed to conservative.  I have to tell you that if this is how the conservatives want it, then fine.  If it’s going to be “liberal” to want someone to look out for the middle class consumer as opposed to the banking lobby in this country, then so be it.

I didn’t realize it was liberal to want to see someone put a stop to the kind of abusive lending behavior that has stripped the middle class of just about everything they had.  I guess conservatives are now the people in favor of predatory credit cards with 39.9%, 49.9%, or even 79.9% interest rates, not to mention the hidden fees and outrageous charges and abusive mortgage payments that double without notice, and are generally marketed to the elderly and less educated segments of the population.

That’s conservative, huh?  Well, okay… I guess I’m hating “conservatives” then, because those sort of things are destroying the middle class in this country and that’s like destroying America… and I’m against destroying America.

The WSJ story went on to say:

President Barack Obama’s choice could signal how he intends to deal with resurgent Republicans in Congress. The feelers to business groups serve as a reminder that any nominee would likely need support from at least seven Republicans in the Senate to win confirmation.

Among the names being discussed are Iowa’s attorney general, Tom Miller; New York state bank regulator Richard Neiman; and former Office of Thrift Supervision director Ellen Seidman.

Yeah, that’s about perfect.  Go ahead and put a banking regulator in the post that’s supposed to protect consumers.  After all, Lord knows our banking regulators, and I use that term loosely, have done a bang up job so far at protecting us.  Why not?  Hey, maybe Kenny Lewis, the ex-CEO of Bank of America, would take the job.  I understand he’s not working at the moment.

The WSJ then explained:

The Obama administration weighed nominating Ms. Warren earlier this year but held off amid concern that Republicans who consider her anti-business would block her appointment. Instead, she was named a special adviser to set up the agency, and a decision on a permanent head was put off until 2011.

Several federal agencies are scheduled to transfer their powers to the new agency in July, and the administration wants to have a confirmed chief in place by then. Without a Senate-confirmed director, the agency’s powers would be limited. For example, the agency wouldn’t be able to issue certain new rules on lending.

And with any of the banking regulators in the job, there won’t be any new rules on lending, at least none that will bother the bakers in the least… so, what’s the difference?

You know… the Democrats really are wimps.  I mean… really.  Elizabeth Warren was literally the creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau… it was her idea, and its been her that has campaigned for it tirelessly.  But the Dems get afraid that some of the senate Republicans don’t like her and they don’t even consider fighting to appoint the best person for the job… they run for the hills and start looking for someone that the other side of this issue will like… even though that essentially ensures that the bureau won’t accomplish what it’s intended to accomplish.

I do understand that the essence of politics is compromise, and that you won’t get very far in Washington playing bull to our system’s china shop, but this sort of flagrant political expediency is what has harmed, and quite likely has fatally harmed, the Obama presidency.

So, as the Journal’s story continued, I got sicker to my stomach:

So far, Ms. Warren and her senior adviser, Raj Date, have solicited input from a range of groups, including the Independent Community Bankers of America, the Financial Services Roundtable and the Center for Responsible Lending, according to people familiar with the matter.

The first two groups are two of Washington’s most influential associations for lenders, representing thousands of big and small banks. The Center for Responsible Lending is a North Carolina-based consumer group that pushed for the creation of the new agency and is influential with congressional Democrats.

Soliciting input from the Independent Community Bankers of America and the Financial Services Roundtable as to who should lead the new consumer protection bureau, is something like asking the Illegal Drug Dealers Association and Pablo Escobar to provide input as to who should run the DEA.

What’s the point?  In fact, anyone either of these groups would choose for the role should be the basis for not including them on the list of candidates.

Then the Journal’s story said the following:

The process is at an early stage but could escalate quickly, the people said. A concrete list of candidates hasn’t yet been established, and the White House could dismiss any recommendations made by banking or liberal groups. The decision on a nominee will ultimately be made by Mr. Obama, and could come by March, the people said.

Did you notice how they framed the two sides to the argument?  “Banking or liberal groups.”  Earlier it was “conservatives vs. liberals,” and now it’s “banking vs. liberals.”  So, which is it, or is it one and the same.  Is it now considered “conservative to be pro-banking,” and liberal to be pro-consumer?  It would seem so, especially as from reading the next paragraph in the WSJ story:

Many credit Ms. Warren, a longtime critic of banks and a Harvard law professor, with envisioning the consumer-protection agency in 2007. Liberals pushed to include it in the Dodd-Frank law, saying Washington needed a regulator whose sole focus was protecting consumers from unscrupulous lending practices. Republicans and business groups, particularly the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, tried to kill it and succeeded in scaling it back.

“Liberals pushed to include” the new consumer protection bureau in the Dodd-Frank law, but “Republicans and business groups, particularly the U.S. Chamber of Commerce tried to kill it, and succeeded in scaling it back.”

I don’t know about you, but that’s just a stunning place to have a dividing line, if you ask me.  Republicans, business groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are opposed to a consumer protection bureau whose job it will be to look out for consumers, protecting them from unscrupulous lending practices?  Really?  After what we’ve just been through, I can’t even believe there’s anyone in this country that would be opposed to consumers being protected from unscrupulous lending practices, let alone the Chamber of Commerce and, in general, Republicans.

I owned my own business for close to two decades, and I’ve been a member of my local Chamber of Commerce, and I always thought that my membership was a way of showing that I supported honest and ethical standards in business.  Certainly not that I was opposed to consumers being protected from unscrupulous lending practices.

Many of those unscrupulous lending practices,” one might recall, are illegal acts… crimes.  Are Republicans all of a sudden the “Pro-Crime Party?”  Would someone please direct me to the rabbit hole because I’m looking to climb back up.

The WSJ further explains:

Ms. Warren has said the bureau’s priorities will include simplifying credit card and mortgage disclosures. She also wants to make the prices of financial products more transparent. Critics say the bureau’s actions could limit choices for consumers and burden financial firms with costly new regulations.

Okay, so simplifying disclosures on credit cards and mortgages, and make the prices of financial products more transparent… don’t those things fall under the category of “positive change” for everyone?  Why would one side not want people to know what they’re getting into… to be more knowledgeable and aware of the prices of things?

You see, I’m confused because one phrase I’ve heard coming from the Republicans when talking about the foreclosure crisis is that people need to take some “personal responsibility” for their decisions.  So, under the banner of being better able to understand what one is committing to when one signs a mortgage or applies for a credit card, wouldn’t simplified disclosures or clearer pricing be something the “personal responsibility” crowd would support?

After all, the personal responsibility crowd is saying that the borrowers weren’t victims, they’re people who should have known better, so why wouldn’t changes that help to make sure that in the future people would be better able to “know better” be a good thing for the future of personal responsibility?

Also, how exactly could clearer pricing of financial service products or simplified disclosures possibly limit the choices available to consumers, except that maybe the consumers wouldn’t have the scams and abusive products from which to choose anymore?

And as to “costly new regulations,” all I can say is take it out of the bankers’ bonus checks.

The WSJ story continues:

Much will depend on who leads the agency. Ms. Warren is revered by many liberal groups, but it would be even more difficult for her to win confirmation in the new Senate, which will have 47 Republicans.

In the new political dynamic, the White House needs broader support from business groups to move nominees and legislation through Congress. If the administration can win early support for a nominee from business, it could smooth the passage for Senate confirmation.

Since when is “business” opposed to consumers being better informed when they borrow money… and for that matter, since when are banks against that?

The thing is… I’m a pro-business guy… all the way.  I voted for Reagan, I voted for Bush I.  I even voted for Dubya, although I have to say that didn’t exactly work out as I’d hoped.  And when I voted for Obama, the only reason I was hesitant was that I thought he’d be too unfriendly towards Wall Street, which as it turns out should go on record as me being the most wrong I’ve ever been in my whole life.  Like voting for “Icy Cold” and finding out it was “Boiling Hot”.

But now I find myself on the other side of business?  I’m against consumers getting ripped off and stripped of their wealth by bankers and politicians and that in itself makes me an “anti-business liberal?”  Holy mackerel, next thing I know is someone going to be inviting me to save the caribou and drive a wind-powered car?  ‘Cause I’m going to resist giving up my 4-wheel drive Suburban, I’ll tell you that right now.  Global warming?  I was always a little chilly anyway.

And another thing… I happen to like the Ten Commandments, so leave ‘em up wherever they are now, and my family happens to enjoy saying a prayer before we eat and at bedtime, so if you don’t like that, tough cookies.  I like tax incentives for business because they encourage business to grow, which means more jobs and better jobs.  I sure as heck don’t want government telling me what to do every time I turn around, I think I pay plenty of taxes as it stands, and as far as I’m concerned, we should pave Afghanistan and make it overflow parking for our new ChinaLand Shopping & Amusement Complex, how’s that?

Although I’ve said it before, if you want to put a nativity scene on top of the Supreme Court for Christmas, go right ahead.  You want Santa in his sleigh over the White House… why not?  And go ahead and plug in a big Jewish star over the Treasury building and a neon “Feliz Navidad” atop of the Department of Agriculture too, if that will help balance things out in your mind, I really don’t care.

But it should be abundantly clear to EVERYONE that this country needs a tad more regulation and oversight of our banking and finance industry in order to prevent those involved from raping the middle class while they pay themselves untold billions in bonuses, and use their immense wealth to purchase our republic and hijack our democracy.  Because that’s precisely what they’ve done and what they continue to try to do every single day in real life today… and it must be stopped or before we know it, Mexico’s going to be building a fence to stop our illegal emigrants from crossing their border in the dead of night to look for work.

And Elizabeth Warren is absolutely the right person to lead the bureau of which she conceived, and this moment in time she is likely the ONLY right person for the job.  Even she will have a monumental challenge in front of her, but anyone else that I can see, will be dead right out of the gate… and then the abuses we have today… we’ll still have tomorrow.

Oh yeah, and Geithner opposes her big time…

Isn’t that alone enough reason to give her your support?

So, this is it.  I want everyone click on the blue type and sign the petition, Let Elizabeth Warren Police Wall Street, which says:

PETITION TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Elizabeth Warren has proven that she is willing to stand up to Wall Street on behalf of consumers and is the logical choice to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Tim Geithner is a longtime Wall Street insider, and if he’s recommending against Elizabeth Warren that’s all the more reason to appoint her.

I know, it seems like we’ll probably lose this fight at this point, Geithner and the rest just have too much power and they never give up pushing for their corrupt practices to continue unchecked, but we’ll definitely lose if you don’t sign, so let’s not just throw in the proverbial towel just yet, okay?

Come on… take a moment to click it and sign it !  Let Elizabeth Warren Police Wall Street

Mandelman out.

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(And hat tip to The Daily Bail for bringing the petition and much more to my attention… a really great site, by the way.

And if still unsure, click this and read their article, “The Real Reason Tim Geithner is Afraid of Elizabeth Warren.”)

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And here’s Shahien Nasiripour of the Huffington Post on the Warren appointment:

Financial Reform Coalition Endorses Elizabeth Warren To Head New Consumer Agency

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Here’s Simon Johnson, Baseline Scenario and ex-Chief Economist of the IMF, on Tim Geithner:

Tim Geithner’s Ninth Political Life

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And here’s the Washington Post on Geithner running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau!

Timothy Geithner’s realm grows with passage of financial regulatory reform

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And her are just a few past articles on Elizabeth Warren from Mandelman Matters:

Elizabeth Warren on the Foreclosure Crisis

TARP Chief Elizabeth Warren: “It’s the Bank Lobbyists vs. American Families”

The Most Damaging Propaganda Campaign in History. And its Aimed at You and Me

Elizabeth Warren’s Appointment In Jeopardy-We Have to Act Now

Bringing Up the Rear: Senator Christopher J. Dodd

Bringing Up the Rear: Treasury Secretary Tim “Transparency” Geithner & his Band of Banking Sadists

Well, Would You Look at That: Elizabeth Warren Might Be Replaced by a Bank Lobbyist

And here’s an oldie, but a goodie… if you don’t remember it, perhaps it’s time to read it again…

Attitudes on Wall Street: Dear God, Give Me Strength

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Hey… why not take a minute and SUBSCRIBE to Mandelman Matters so you’ll get it delivered to your email daily? Don’t worry, you don’t have to read it, if you don’t want to.  But you’ll feel better when you do!


Comments

  1. larryw says

    I am pro business. Pro free enterprise. Fiscally conservative. Laissez-faire. Too much Government. And I want much tighter controls on the banks - in fact, I really want to see the big ones broken up. A contridiction? No. Reason #1) Banks (like the GSE's) are NOT free enterprise businesses - not with the tax payers backing their bad decisions while the execs keep the profits of the good decisions, Reason #2) the banks have proven that they are NOT playing the free enterprise game honestly, fairly or legally. EVERY supporter of free enterprise should want the banks broken up - or AT LEAST controlled to a much higher degree. Crooked business is not good for any of us. Unfortunately, only the GOVT can control (or break up) thee banks. Our entire economy will pay a HUGE price for a VERY LONG TIME if we keep our hands off the banks and continue to let them run this country for their own gain. This is NOT an issue of right vs. left (although the banks love it when we infight like that - since our focus shifts away from the real problem - the bankers.) This is an issue of the banks against the American people and the American economy and no one knows that better than Elizabeth Warren. Right now, the banks are a bigger threat than radical Islam or socialism.

  2. mandelman says

    Yahoo! So, you're now a "liberal" too! Isn't it weird? So, which political party are we supposed to like? The Republicans certainly don't want any regulation of banks beyond what's there today, and the Democrats certainly aren't standing up to anyone.

    I wrote some months ago that it's not about right and left anymore, it's about right and wrong... it's about stopping the financial lobby from, as you put it, running the country for their own gain.

    So, do we now have... or at least need... two parties: the Banksters and the Opposition Party, consisting of the people against the Banksters?

    I'd like to propose that people around the country set aside their more divisive beliefs, and unite around the common purpose of saving the nation's middle class from economic destruction, if it's not already too late. A real "People's Party," if you will, whose platform is to strike a true balance between the interests of Wall Street and the interests of Main Street. Or am I just dreaming?

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