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Elizabeth Warren Says Obama Administration “Protected Wall Street Not Families”

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren condemned the Obama Administration for perpetually siding with Wall Street instead of Wall Street’s victims. In an interview with Salon conducted by Thomas Frank, Senator Warren noted her frustration with the economic team President Barack Obama put together and claimed that they promoted the interests of Wall Street rather than families losing their homes, students mired in debt, and clients that had been defrauded.

Warren’s view echoed a popular sentiment, particularly among progressives, that the appointments of Timothy Geithner, Eric Holder, Lawrence Summers, and other Wall Street apparatchiks was a recipe for Wall Street to have an advantage to prevail in all legal and regulatory matters that were to be decided in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

And, more the point, President Obama must have known this when appointing them.

[Warren] I understand your frustration, Tom and, actually, I talk about this in the book. When I think about the president, for me, it’s about both halves. If Barack Obama had not been president of the United States we would not have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Period. I’m completely convinced of that. And I go through the details in the book, and I could tell them to you. But he was the one who refused to throw the agency under the bus and made sure that his team kept the agency alive and on the table. Now there was a lot of other stuff that also had to happen for it to happen. But if he hadn’t been there, we wouldn’t have gotten the agency. At the same time, he picked his economic team and when the going got tough, his economic team picked Wall Street.

[Thomas Frank, Salon]: You might say, “always.” Just about every time they had to compromise, they compromised in the direction of Wall Street.

[Warren]: That’s right. They protected Wall Street. Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. Not young people who were struggling to get an education. And it happened over and over and over. So I see both of those things and they both matter.

While Warren credits Obama for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she could not have been clearer about the consequences of his appointments to Treasury and the Justice Department – giving Wall Street a near complete pass on its misconduct. Though fines have been extracted no major Wall Street figure or firm has faced criminal prosecution despite clearly breaking the law.

Warren has repeatedly said she will not be running for president in 2016, leaving Hillary Clinton as the only serious contender at the moment for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. Clinton has already personally taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Goldman Sachs and has a long affiliation with Wall Street. If Clinton secures the nomination and the presidency it would be reasonable to expect more of the same policies Warren highlights as misguided. Can Senator Warren endorse such an agenda when she already condemned it?

CommunityThe Bullpen

Elizabeth Warren Says Obama Administration ‘Protected Wall Street Not Families’

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren condemned the Obama Administration for perpetually siding with Wall Street instead of Wall Street’s victims. In an interview with Salon conducted by Thomas Frank, Senator Warren noted her frustration with the economic team President Barack Obama put together and claimed that they promoted the interests of Wall Street rather than families losing their homes, students mired in debt, and clients that had been defrauded.

Warren’s view echoed a popular sentiment, particularly among progressives, that the appointments of Timothy Geithner, Eric Holder, Lawrence Summers, and other Wall Street apparatchiks was a recipe for Wall Street to have an advantage to prevail in all legal and regulatory matters that were to be decided in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

And, more the point, President Obama must have known this when appointing them.

[Warren] I understand your frustration, Tom and, actually, I talk about this in the book. When I think about the president, for me, it’s about both halves. If Barack Obama had not been president of the United States we would not have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Period. I’m completely convinced of that. And I go through the details in the book, and I could tell them to you. But he was the one who refused to throw the agency under the bus and made sure that his team kept the agency alive and on the table. Now there was a lot of other stuff that also had to happen for it to happen. But if he hadn’t been there, we wouldn’t have gotten the agency. At the same time, he picked his economic team and when the going got tough, his economic team picked Wall Street.

[Thomas Frank, Salon]: You might say, “always.” Just about every time they had to compromise, they compromised in the direction of Wall Street.

[Warren]: That’s right. They protected Wall Street. Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. Not young people who were struggling to get an education. And it happened over and over and over. So I see both of those things and they both matter.

While Warren credits Obama for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she could not have been clearer about the consequences of his appointments to Treasury and the Justice Department – giving Wall Street a near complete pass on its misconduct. Though fines have been extracted no major Wall Street figure or firm has faced criminal prosecution despite clearly breaking the law.

Warren has repeatedly said she will not be running for president in 2016, leaving Hillary Clinton as the only serious contender at the moment for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. Clinton has already personally taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Goldman Sachs and has a long affiliation with Wall Street. If Clinton secures the nomination and the presidency it would be reasonable to expect more of the same policies Warren highlights as misguided. Can Senator Warren endorse such an agenda when she already condemned it?

Photo by Twp under Creative Commons license.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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