I love Elizabeth Warren. She’s “kick-butt.” As special advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she’s been hailed as one of the “new Sheriffs of Wall Street.”
In a recent conference call hosted by Sojourners, “Sheriff Warren” said of predatory bankers: “Just because we’re not perfect human beings doesn’t give anyone the right to cheat us.” (Imagine it in Clint Eastwood’s voice.) In my opinion, Warren is taking up the cause of the prophet Isaiah, when he said: “The scoundrel’s methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just” (Isaiah 32:7). Warren is determined to clean up the scoundrels in the financial industry who eat the poor for breakfast.
A group called the Main Street Brigade (MSB) released a Western-themed rap video calling for Elizabeth Warren to be chosen as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – not “interim” or temporary, as she is currently.
The video features Los Angeles comedian Ryan Anthony Lumas rapping about how the country needs Warren to protect people from banks (“Sheriff Warren is what we need, ya’ll.”) Warren’s picture appears in the video only on the cover of Time magazine, and Lumas makes a reference to Oklahoma, where Warren grew up. MSB describes itself as “a rapid response team, nationwide, that can be activated to protect our communities” from “devastation” by the banking industry.
Also this week, Ralph Nader released anOpen Letter to President Obama calling Obama to account for welcoming with open arms General Electric’s CEO while burying Elizabeth Warren as far back as he can get her. When she spoke on the Sojourners call, she was sitting at a bench in the Rayburn Building because she doesn’t really have an office and the Republican-controlled House is working hard to defund what little budget she had. Here’s an excerpt from Nader’s letter:
An interesting contrast is playing out at the White House these days—between your expressed praise of General Electric’s CEO, Jeffrey R. Immelt and the silence regarding the widely desired nomination of Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Financial Regulatory Bureau within the Federal Reserve.
On one hand, you promptly appointed Mr. Immelt to be the chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitive, while letting him keep his full time lucrative position as CEO of General Electric (The Corporate State Expands). At the announcement, you said that Mr. Immelt “understands what it takes for America to compete in the global economy.” …
Compare, if you will, the record of Elizabeth Warren and her acutely informed knowledge about delivering justice to those innocents harmed by injustice in the financial services industry. A stand-up Law Professor at your alma mater, author of highly regarded articles and books connecting knowledge to action, the probing Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel (COP) and now in the Treasury Department working intensively to get the CFRB underway by the statutory deadline this July with competent, people-oriented staff.
Read Sojourners interview with Elizabeth Warren.