Monday, October 12, 2009

Profile of Elizabeth Warren

Mother Jones has a short but good profile of Professor Elizabeth Warren, head of the Congressional Oversight Panel (the panel that is watching over the $700 billion TARP program). In it they discuss her two transformative experiences that have brought her to where she is today. And where she is can be a tough place:
Indeed. In April, Thomas Cooley, a Forbes columnist, blasted Warren for politicizing the oversight panel to advance an anti-bank agenda, and one of the five-person panel's two Republican members, Jeb Hensarling, has criticized her for focusing the commission's work "on issues not central to our mandate." He also pushed for releasing the transcripts of the panel's private meetings, a move that Warren resisted because, a spokesman says, the members need to have "candid discussions" about their ongoing investigations.
Hensarling's criticism may be legitimate, but sometimes it comes across as little more than an attempt to stifle Warren's reform efforts. With the popularity of the Tea Party protests one might think that there would be some room in the Republican agenda for meaningful but sensible reform. I mean, Hensarling isn't there to serve the interests of the financial services sector, is he?

But it's not just Republicans that have a problem with Warren. The article also mentions Obama economic adviser Larry Summers:
But a Warren colleague at Harvard (who admires her) notes that Summers—who as Harvard president speculated that women may not have the same innate math and science ability as men—might share the sentiments of fellow Harvard economists who dismiss Warren as insufficiently theoretical.
Mathematical models predicting a collapse of this sort could only happen once every hundred years were ubiquitous on Wall Street, so I don't see how Summers can argue we suffer from a theory deficit. Maybe he suggest we fight theory with theory?

It's the Democrats who hold power, so Summers' attitude towards Warren matters more than Hensarling's. Still, as an aspiring Republican, it would be nice to see the party make good on its rhetoric about representing real people.

1 comment:

Dad29 said...

Represent real people?

Never happen--from either side.