The Warren Betrayal

Just four days before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is set to launch, President Obama will finally name a director. Obama has chosen former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to lead the entity which Elizabeth Warren envisioned and muscled through Congress in the wake of the financial disaster as part of the Dodd-Frank Act. Cordray was hired by Warren to be the Chief of Enforcement, but on Monday Obama will put him in charge, sending Warren home.

Obama’s decision to bypass Warren, the Harvard Professor who has spent her career showing how the “tricks and traps” in the fine print of financial products have harmed the poor and “middle class families,” is sure to anger consumers and their watchdog advocates who have supported her leadership role.

Warren has worked night and day to set up the Bureau by meeting with stakeholders across the country and hiring some of the best talent in consumer protection to get the Bureau off the ground. Obama, who chose not to nominate Warren last fall but instead to make her an Assistant to the President and a “Special Advisor” to the Treasury Secretary, has let her twist in the wind as the banking industry has waged a relentless assault on the Bureau, which Obama initially supported as an independent agency.

Since the mid-term election changed the political leadership of the House of Representatives, Wall Street has demanded that Congress revisit Dodd-Frank and has sought a revision of the funding and composition of the Bureau. On May 2, 2011, 44 Republican Senators signed a letter stating they will refuse to confirm anyone nominated to the position unless the Bureau is restructured. They seek to have the regulator’s funding attached to the political appropriations process instead of being tithed to the Federal Reserve’s budget as it currently is, and to install a five-member commission instead of a single regulator. These moves are patently designed to defund, delay, and destroy potential regulatory initiatives by a Bureau that was created by legislation passed only a year ago.

Warren has been hauled up to the Hill to testify in front of House oversight committees even though the Bureau has not even had a chance to become operational; those hearings have turned Warren into a punching bag for partisan dissent. Her shabby treatment as a House witness has led numerous members of Congress to publicly apologize to her for the behavior by other members of Congress. On June 2, 2011, 89 members of the House wrote a letter urging the President to nominate Elizabeth Warren.

Obama has dithered. His Wall Street supporters don’t like Warren and his political fundraising is underway with a bang. Elizabeth Warren is an aggressive, savvy and earnest advocate on behalf of consumers everywhere and she deserved to be nominated to this position for which she has worked tirelessly. Cordray, her lieutenant, is sure to carry on the work, but Obama has shamefully robbed Warren of the opportunity to run the entity she championed to make a difference for the American people.

Theresa Amato, a public interest lawyer, is the executive director of Citizen Works and the director of its Fair Contracts Project at www.faircontracts.org.


More articles by:
June 19, 2018
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
We Can Thank Top Union Officials for Trump
Lawrence Davidson
The Republican Party Falls Apart, the Democrats Get Stuck
Sheldon Richman
Trump, North Korea, and Iran
Richard Rothstein
Trump the (Shakespearean) Fool: a New Look at the Dynamics of Trumpism
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Protect Immigrant Rights; End the Crises That Drive Migration
Gary Leupp
Norway: Just Withdraw From NATO
Kristine Mattis
Nerd Culture, Adultolescence, and the Abdication of Social Priorities
Mike Garrity
The Forest Service Should Not be Above the Law
Colin Todhunter
Pro-GMO Activism And Smears Masquerade As Journalism: From Seralini To Jairam Ramesh, Aruna Rodrigues Puts The Record Straight
Doug Rawlings
Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?
Kenneth Surin
2018 Electioneering in Appalachian Virginia
Nino Pagliccia
Chrystia Freeland Fails to See the Emerging Multipolar World
John Forte
Stuart Hall and Us
June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
John Pilger
Bring Julian Assange Home
Conn Hallinan
The Spanish Labyrinth
Patrick Cockburn
Attacking Hodeidah is a Deliberate Act of Cruelty by the Trump Administration
Gary Leupp
Trump Gives Bibi Whatever He Wants
Thomas Knapp
Child Abductions: A Conversation It’s Hard to Believe We’re Even Having
Robert Fisk
I Spoke to Palestinians Who Still Hold the Keys to Homes They Fled Decades Ago – Many are Still Determined to Return
Steve Early
Requiem for a Steelworker: Mon Valley Memories of Oil Can Eddie
Jim Scheff
Protect Our National Forests From an Increase in Logging
Adam Parsons
Reclaiming the UN’s Radical Vision of Global Economic Justice
Dean Baker
Manufacturing Production Falls in May and No One Notices
Laura Flanders
Bottom-Up Wins in Virginia’s Primaries
Binoy Kampmark
The Anguish for Lost Buildings: Embers and Death at the Victoria Park Hotel
Weekend Edition
June 15, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Dan Kovalik
The US & Nicaragua: a Case Study in Historical Amnesia & Blindness
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Yellow Journalism and the New Cold War
Charles Pierson
The Day the US Became an Empire
Jonathan Cook
How the Corporate Media Enslave Us to a World of Illusions
Ajamu Baraka
North Korea Issue is Not De-nuclearization But De-Colonization
Andrew Levine
Midterms Coming: Antinomy Ahead
Louisa Willcox
New Information on 2017 Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Deaths Should Nix Trophy Hunting in Core Habitat
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Singapore Fling
Ron Jacobs
What’s So Bad About Peace, Man?
Robert Hunziker
State of the Climate – It’s Alarming!
L. Michael Hager
Acts and Omissions: The NYT’s Flawed Coverage of the Gaza Protest
Dave Lindorff
However Tenuous and Whatever His Motives, Trump’s Summit Agreement with Kim is Praiseworthy
Robert Fantina
Palestine, the United Nations and the Right of Return
Brian Cloughley
Sabre-Rattling With Russia
Chris Wright
To Be or Not to Be? That’s the Question
David Rosen
Why Do Establishment Feminists Hate Sex Workers?
Victor Grossman
A Key Congress in Leipzig
John Eskow
“It’s All Kinderspiel!” Trump, MSNBC, and the 24/7 Horseshit Roundelay
Paul Buhle
The Russians are Coming!