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As reader Adrien put it, “Just in case people thought that running for VP would distract Warren from keeping tab on Mary Jo White,” Elizabeth Warren took on the SEC chairman for diverting scarce agency resources to an “information overload” project, an issue only in the minds of interests like the Chamber of Commerce, not investors themselves. Warren depicted White as performing even worse than she has prior to this date, of going in “the opposite direction” of the SEC’s mission of investor protection.
The two clips below show the tension between them. Even with the less than stellar video quality, White looks to be quietly annoyed while Warren is setting up her charge, that the White created a project that advances a pro-corporate agenda, and also takes agency resources away from long-over Dodd Frank rulemaking.
You’ll notice Warren and White disagreeing over the substance of the initiative. White first attempts a misleading feint, by trying to depict the project as part of the JOBS Act. Warren responds by saying that the JOBS Act requirements to simply disclosure apply only to a “subset” of companies and even then on a “subset” of information items. Warren keeps pressing White for evidence that investors were saying they were getting too much information
White then shifts ground and depicts her project as part of an ongoing SEC mission and does manage to cite a Thurgood Marshall decision as supporting her effort. White also describes her initiative as part of a long-standing SEC effort and contends it will increase disclosure in some areas. The Wall Street Journal takes up that theme in its coverage of the hearing:
The disclosure project culminated with an April “concept release” that sought public comment on a range of disclosure topics. Far from simplifying or scaling back disclosures, the release sets the foundation for the SEC to eventually require companies to disclose more about how much in profits they park abroad and even how global warming could affect their businesses.
However, if you click on the link and look at the Journal’s report, it seems more consistent with Warren’s description than White’s:
The Securities and Exchange Commission is getting back to basics as it considers an update to financial reporting rules.
The Commission on Wednesday issued a “concept release” outlining some of the questions it is considering as part of a disclosure rules review. The release runs 340-pages and considers some fundamentals as it begins a months-long process to potentially update the rules…
SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said in a statement Wednesday that the commission is trying to balance competing interests of investors who “want more, not less, information” and those of companies who complain about “requiring unnecessary, immaterial disclosures.”
In other words, White’s stonewalling seems to confirm Warren’s charges: that this impetus for this project came from corporations, who should not be the SEC’s top priority, and that there was no reason to give it precedence over past-due Dodd Frank rulemaking.
It should also be noted that the SEC got headlines today for staff recommending that the IEX exchange application be approved. One has to wonder whether this was timed to divert attention from the Senate hearings, since Warren could be expected to pound Mary Jo White. And this is another lousy outcome. As we pointed out earlier, the SEC made high-frequency trading, which has no value to society or end investors, possible by approving rule NMS. Worse, as we have discussed, rule NMS has resulted in the most unstable market structure possible. But rather than challenge the patently-false “more liquidity is always better” mantra, the SEC has, years after the controversy began, made a response that it can claim addresses the issue but keeps the underlying status quo intact.
Since I’m sure readers will bring it up, let’s look at the other issue Adrien mentioned in passing, that of Warren enthusiastically throwing her support behind Hillary Clinton and saying she’d be willing to become her Vice President (an outcome we see as unlikely). Pam Martens and Russ Martens did first-class shredding of how signing up with Clinton, while demanding no policy concessions, was a betrayal of her principles. From their post:
Senator Warren has built her career on criticisms of Wall Street’s money spigot, which she correctly says is corrupting government, perpetuating the growing divide between the super rich and the other 99 percent, while perverting so many members of Congress that meaningful Wall Street reform like restoring the Glass-Steagall Act hangs in limbo. And yet, despite years of pounding the table on these issues, last Thursday Senator Warren went on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC and spiritedly endorsed Hillary Clinton for President – an establishment politician with a criminal FBI investigation hanging over her head for violating State Department policy in the handling of her emails on a private server in her home while Secretary of State. Clinton is also the only Presidential candidate to have personally accepted millions of dollars from Wall Street for giving speeches and who is now refusing to release the transcripts of what she told Wall Street in exchange for those hefty fees.
One reason for reader frustration with Warren is that many Vichy Left and some bona fide progressive writers have hailed Warren at the Great Hope of the Left, when she was never going to be that. She has always been focused on her agenda of the welfare of middle class families, and she has been willing to go to war only where she has a mastery of the terrain from a technocratic standpoint, which further narrows her focus. It should come as no surprise that she has fallen in line with Democratic party positions on other issues. Even on some matters that ought to be in her wheelhouse, like student debt, Warren has offered band-aids that fail to address the underlying issue of feather-bedding and galloping cost increases particularly in administrator costs and staffing, that have nothing to do with improving the caliber of teaching and research, at colleges and universities.
We were leery of her Senate bid and argued forcefully against it. Initially, we looked to have made a bad call. Warren disproved one of our reservation, that of not being able to exert much influence as a single new Senator, by punching well above her weight through her brutal interrogations in Senate hearings and occasional but very effective speeches.
However, over time, our concern that she would be co-opted is being borne out. As we wrote in 2011:
For someone who has presented herself as a stanch defender of the middle class, to put herself in the position of being a Democratic pol, subject to the requirement of going along to get along, is a Colin Powell “there are WMDs in Iraq” level PR poly. And the long term damage to Warren’s reputation is likely to be as severe as Powell’s taking a bullet for the Bush Administration proved to be.
Running for Senate means Warren has implicitly agreed to support Obama on:
1. Balancing the budget on the backs of middle class families, in particular cutting Social Security and Medicare
2. Standing with Obama on his bank friendly policies, such as:
– Not prosecuting the banks for fraud and mortgage abuses
– Remaining silent as the CFPB is neutered (she can’t do her promise “blood and teeth on the floor” routine from within the Senate; she’d be restricted to letters asking
obnoxiouspointed questions in letters and hearings)
3. Supporting the war in Libya
4. Refusing to take unemployment seriously
5. Continuing the policies of extraordinary rendition and torture, which put US soldiers at risk and damages US credibility around the world
Even if Warren bucks the will of the party with some frequency, she will nevertheless be perceived to have sacrificed her independence and agreed to serve as a standard-bearer for all that Obama and corporatist Dems stand for. I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with house nemesis Dan Duncan:
Right now Warren’s beauty as a candidate is frozen in time. She should keep it that way….
In this frame, she is free from time, yet she is simultaneously frozen in time. She is free to singularly co-exist as being both a “DC Outsider” and a Status Quo Harvard Insider. She does not have to confront compromise and “the process of governance”. She is “Forever Progressive.”
To Warren’s credit, she has withstood the inevitable longer than one might have expected. But she does not seem to understand how she is likely to be used, as in misused, by the Clinton campaign.
The Clintons are partners with Wall Street, as defined by Ambrose Bierce in The Devil’s Dictionary:
When two thieves have their hands so deeply plunged in each other’s pocket than they cannot separately plunder a third party.
Clinton will not support anything stronger than cosmetic moves against financial firms. She is too dependent on Wall Street support, and the Clintons, like the Lannisters, do have a long track record of honoring their debts. So it is utterly implausible that Hillary will have a Damascene conversion and take up Warren’s bank agenda.
So Warren is begin set up to play the same role that Paul Volcker did in Obama’s 2008 campaign: regularly visible in public with the candidate,. Since Warren is a politician while Volcker was not, that includes stumping for Clinton, with voters getting the impression that Warren was in line for a major post in the Clinton cabinet, as it was assumed that Volcker would become Treasury Secretary (the rumor was on a relatively short-term basis, for a year or two and most to deal with the crisis, given his age). Instead, after the election, Volcker was dispatched to Siberia, to head an important-sounding committee that was removed from the action.
Warren is unlikely to be tossed aside quite as rudely, but another way to shackle her would be to give her a Cabinet post that has little to do with the financial services industry. That would help Clinton meet her goal of having half her key posts filled by women, while cashiering a major thorn in the side of the banking industry.
It would be better if I were proven wrong, but to paraphrase one of Lambert’s favorite sayings, in this election, it’s hard to be cynical enough.
“But she does not seem to understand how she is likely to be used, as in misused, by the Clinton campaign. ”
Maybe she does understand, and has no illusions that the feint about naming her as VP is real,
but cares enough about her core issues that she is willing to be briefly used, and then discarded, as a political prop in order to stay on good terms with Clinton. Or at least stay off of her enemies list.
Warren has not gotten where she is, or been as effective as she is, by overestimating the good will of others.
It’s hard to believe she doesn’t see the Clintons for what they are.
Or so I would like to think.
Closely mirrors my own opinion, and I’m thankful for the links back to earlier #NC articles on Warren. As Yves noted:
“Warren is unlikely to be tossed aside quite as rudely …”
Part of me wonders if the future holds a testy (post-election) standoff between Clinton & Warren. Can Warren hold her tongue when (not if) the Lannisters (nee Clintons) start “honoring their debts”? Maybe I’m thinking too much of the Elizabeth Warren of social media fame, and less of the one I’m reading about in past #NC posts.
“Warren is unlikely to be tossed aside quite as rudely, but another way to shackle her would be to give her a Cabinet post that has little to do with the financial services industry. That would help Clinton meet her goal of having half her key posts filled by women, while cashiering a major thorn in the side of the banking industry.”
– -which is pretty much how they dealt with Eric Schneiderman. Guess that’s how to distinguish a politician from a person with integrity.
Warren should be grateful for such finely balanced assessment. How does a politician get an idea, any idea, of just how well or poorly they are performing their stated mission or how well they are really connecting with the people they claim to represent? It can’t be easy – polls are beyond useless if you want answers deeper than lipstick on a pig, or asking your “yes” people – the ones who depend on you for their salary? – ha, yet this post gives a brilliant quick tour or thumb nail sketch of the usually elusive answers to just those questions.
Instead, the atmosphere Warren is now likely to be immersed in is hinted at by Obama’s reaction to Orland shootings,
How long before this will also be Warren’s way to get at the truth? Exploit tragedies to eliminate it at the source. The only means Sanders had at all of broadly connecting with the public during his campaign was the internet – this may soon be as teeth gnashing irritating to Warren as it is now to Obama and Hillary.
I can’t tolerate faux progressives, particularly ones who vociferously support Clinton. Count me
in with the “uneducated” white working class voters supporting Trump. Time to send a message.
Well past time, actually.
As a Massachusetts Resident we were all exposed to the “misrepresentations” Warren presented herself as when she ran against Scott Brown. The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald, the two mainstay competitors here for Democrats and Republicans respectively would report on her and give entirely different picture that reflected their respective political ideology. Ignoring this, I have always gone with what she does and not what she says.
A couple things stand out, one of which is her failure to call on then Attorney General Holder in front of her Committee, as well as AG Lynch in regard to prosecutions of criminal wrong-doing, the only office which can put offenders in prison. The SEC fines, hundreds of billions worth, are simply the cost of doing business. However, the most glaring hypocrisy of Warren is twofold: First, her primary bank is Bank of America, second, she accepts donations from Wall Street, one of which is none other than Goldman Sachs. Nice.
A singular episode of misrepresenting herself could be dismissed as a one-off, but a series of such is not an anomaly. Her getting behind Clinton is of no surprise to me, as I chuckle at those who are shocked she would do this. I have stated to folks here that attacking her with the typical “fauxcahontis”, “fake Indian”, “House flipper”, “$300K for one class at Harvard” type attacks are a wasted efforts, go after what she does and point out her hypocrisy, even in light of her once in a while fire & brimstone antics that result in absolutely nothing.
She was explicit that her support required policy proposals, and she has gone “whoops.” It’s potentially a “read my lips, no new taxes” for Warren. Voters hate clearly broken promises. Obama gets away with it because people largely made up what he said.
I agree that people continue to project their beliefs on to Obama but one of the major reasons for this (IMO) is that the MSM has never called him out on his BS.
What are you referring to? SHe absolutely has criticized the fecklessness of the DoJ and the “cost of doing business” wrist-slapping at the SEC.
This is so naive and wrong. You’re salty about her depositing money with Bank of America? Where would you like her to put her money, under her mattress? The irony in classifying this as a “glaring hypocrisy” is that holding your deposits at banks is the point of (FDIC) banks — that is precisely how she envisions their functionality! (“Boring.”) Now, if you said Bank of America was, like, the prime broker of her family office that would be a different story. Also, lol, when did she take money from Goldman Sachs? Where do see “donations from Wall Street”?
First, if she were to “walk-the-walk”, there are plenty of non-Wall Street banks out there to do her banking with.
Second, you’re either lazy, and more likely, a partisan political hack, she’s taken $18K from Goldman Sachs:
This is a non-sequitur. Warren “walking the walk” in her criticism of TBTF banks has nothing to do with having deposits at Bank of America. Again, this is what they’re supposed to do! Warren wants banks to be a very simple agent for risk: taking deposits (its liabilities) and lending that money at a modest, “boring” profit. Her argument, echoed by the Sanders campaign, is that they shouldn’t dually function as investment banks while enjoying the benefit of having taxpayers (as opposed to their shareholders) bear the risk. I agree.
This doesn’t make me a “partisan political hack”, nor does the fact that I think the paltry 18k that has been donated to Warren — enough to buy, like, 20 seconds of airtime lol — from employees of Goldman Sachs is a laughable criticism. Goldman Sachs and Elizabeth Warren are not in cahoots! Come on!
USD 18,000 = HRC .08
(where HRC is the unit of currency = 1 hour of Clinton’s speechifying = USD 225,000).
So, Goldman was buying .08 hours = 4.8 minutes of Warren’s time. SCANDAL!!!
Searching for Warren in the NC search tool reveals a lot of good things that she’s done,
even after she set up the CFPB. Not perfect, but what national Dem comes close?
Her primary bank is Bank of America. That’s all you had to say. Anyone who *claims* to be against the bad policies of the banks, but does business with them? Talking out of both sides of her mouth.
Again, BofA holds her deposits; they don’t act as the prime broker of her family office lol. There’s really nothing remotely objectionable here. This line of criticism is woefully misinformed.
Not “woefully misinformed” but considering things from a different perspective. If Warren wanted to bring in a different system (e.g., people’s banks) then one might expect her not to “feed” the existing system via BofA deposits, but instead put her funds into a credit union. However, as you imply, Warren has never criticized the underlying system; she wants to improve it from the perspective of the 99% by making it somewhat fairer.
You are both right, depending on your opinion of what Warren says she wants to achieve.
I’ve learned a lot from Warren but I wouldn’t expect her to deliver fundamental systemic changes.
Banks lose money on checking accounts unless the depositor has other accounts with them, like a credit card or a mortgage or a line of credit (and actually uses it or pays a fee to have it). While I agree the optics are bad, you don’t know enough to know of BofA is making or losing money on its relationship with her.
Supporting a Democratic nominee for president who will appoint more people like Mary Jo White to positions of power…so she can belittle them from her senate perch? I guess that’s all the “progress” we can expect from Warrem.
You are absolutely correct. Clinton will appoint numerous clones of Mary Jo White to regulatory commissions. On a related note, Warren introduced legislation in the Senate to restore the Glass Steagall separation of banking functions (which Bernie Sanders co-sponsored):
Clinton is on record opposing the restoration of Glass Steagall:
Elizabeth Warren is either very confused or very duplicitous.
I’m less confident than you are that Warren as VP — and she is the likely VP, if prediction markets are any indication, much less if HRC is nearly as smart as supporters say she is — would be a de facto betrayal of her leftist base. Let’s at least give her a chance to fail before preemptively criticizing her for doing so?
The way I see it, she does have a distinct agenda, as you write, “the welfare of middle class families.” Sure, in contrast, a Clinton presidency would in general circumstances pay its deference to the oligarchs. That said, HRC isn’t some honorable / old money aristocrat (a la the Lannisters) compelled by any great principle of loyalty. She’s a Clinton! If she needs to betray someone, she will. What’s most salient about a Clinton is blind ambition…
So on that note, HRC will do whatever it takes to be President, and choosing Warren gives her the best odds. Maybe this is my youthful idealism talking, but I don’t think Warren would accept without forcing some key compromises on HRC’s end. (Warren is a savvy politician herself, after all.)
The Left has to be about more than this election; if the energy merely dies down once Sanders officially loses, then the momentum he’s generated will have been a waste. This much has been said by much smarter people than me — West, Chomsky, et al — that even after the
votes are castdelegates are pledged this summer, the Left must mobilize as a movement. At the end of the day, I think that an HRC presidency, however pissed off that makes me, is a more fertile environment for this than a Trump one. (Which is to say, I respectfully disagree with the Politico piece (or at least the headline).)
Prediction markets are seriously overrated. They are good only at things where the people betting have some insight into the issues at play. So for things like “who will be President?” they can be useful. For things that will be determined by insiders, not. This is a favorite topic of Barry Ritholtz for years. See a recent piece:
Warren would be a terrible VP pick for Clinton. This is being floated only to mess with Warren’s and the Sanders’ voters brains. And insiders I know say “no way”.
1. Brings nothing in terms of pulling votes in swing states. Clinton needs either someone from a swing state or a Hispanic. Many Hispanics are socially conservative, have small businesses, and many do NOT like illegal immigrants. The Donald will do better with them than the pundits think if he shapes up and talks about illegal immigrants, as opposed to ethnic groups, as he did in his CA election night speech (and mind you, I am not saying a majority, but they don’t have a lock on them the way they do with the black vote) unless the Dems do a lot more to cater to them.
2. Will be a negative with some voters Clinton wants and needs, particularly moderate Republicans. They might hold their noses and vote for Hillary over Trump, but a two woman ticket? With the second woman portrayed as a fire-breathing pinko? No way.
3. Banks would hate it and pull money from the campaign.
I’m by no means an absolutist on the efficiency of prediction markets but Ritholtz’s argument is flawed here: it’s basically predicated on the markets being illiquid insufficiently “diverse”. While this may be true for the examples he cites (the Michael Jackson trial, Purcell resignation, and Greece referendum), that’s not the case for the Dem VP market, and whether the market participants reflect “diversity” or possess “specialized” knowledge, as he argues, is presumptuous — and may also be misinterpreting what Hayek meant by “specialized knowledge” — but I suppose that’s a separate discussion. (He does cite Dean 2004 and Obama-Clinton 2008, but these preceded the margin-linking of shorts change, which made the markets more efficient.)
To your point about the banks, Hillary has enough money and rich friends to campaign for a looong time. (She has, after all, been raising enormous capital — in both fiat and political currencies — through her
investment bank of political capitalClinton Foundation for the last 15 years.) Trump’s too unpredictable and the rich fear this more than anything, while Hillary represents Wall Street’s values to the bone. (She does “sound like a Goldman Sachs Managing Director” when you think about it!) But even if this sentiment could change, the means to running an effective campaign is different today, more abstract. You can’t outspend on ads anymore and just expect to win — ask Jeb! HRC understands this though: her campaign can call up Cillizza or Bruni or Chait et al with anything to run a story with and within 24 hours every digital rag below them on the media pyramid — down to the shell blogs created by David Brock that are shared on Daily/Kos — will echo it. Talk about effective advertising. And it’s all priceless.
As far as the Beltway neo-cons are concerned, they’re also terrified of Trump, for ideological reasons and — I think Ames or the War Nerd mentioned this — the fact that they may all be out of jobs if he’s elected. Plus, Hillary appeals to that demographic anyway, and Warren — whose issue is the economy — has no reason to interfere there.
Lastly, picking Warren just makes a lot of sense to me…
1. While I may not be representative of the average Sanders voter, picking Warren is just about the only thing HRC could possibly do to win my vote (if I lived in a swing state). At the end of the day, she will need voters to her left — a good portion of Sanders supporters — to win.
2. Her campaign is perhaps the most substantively empty one in my lifetime, much of which is predicated on fearmongering of Trump, and it will probably only get worse (why having the media under your thumb helps). But there would still be a good amount of substantive criticism coming at her from the left, and I imagine having Warren on her team reduces this scrutiny considerably.
3. Unfortunately for HRC, it’s hard for her to attack Trump all guns blazing as they could easily backfire given her own baggage. For instance, she doesn’t go after him for the racist Central Park Five op-eds he wrote — it’s reminiscent of “super predator” speech — like she doesn’t attack him nearly as hard as she should for Trump U (she’s hesitant about attacks re fraud/corruption lol). Already Warren’s done a better job attacking Trump, and he sounds feeble when he comes back at her with the “Pocahontus” nonsense. (A friend of mine who supports Trump even admitted this much.) Warren’s too smart, her record’s too clean, and she’s too good of a speaker for Trump to bully her. I can’t say the same about “nice guy” Tim Kaine…
So yeah, I do think it will be Warren, but granted this is wishful thinking…
“[Warren’s] record’s too clean” I think you’ve hit on the only reason Clinton might consider her. Clinton might be drawn to using Warren as a way of whitewashing her own lack of integrity. (“If a whiter-than-white person like Warren supports me, then that proves I’m clean enough for her.”) Clinton’s already using Warren’s support indirectly to that end.
Warren must realize this. She evidently feels she has something to gain by participating in whatever arrangement they have.
As to the banks hating Warren, that’s true–but having Warren in a VP slot would be an effective way of disarming her ability to be a threat.
Huh? Clinton is 67 with SERIOUS health problems. She’s had a stroke and passes out with some frequency. Even though Warren is almost her age, she looks to be vastly more healthy.
Clinton visibly aged as SoS and she’d be under even more stress as President, particularly if (when) she gets into her hot war with Russia.
The last thing the banks would want is Warren as President, and odds way too high to be comfortable that that would happen.
As Gore Vidal stated: “There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat.” Perhaps after this presidential election the Bernie movement will morph into a more viable option and give USA citizens a true alternative to cast their vote.
Street smarts the schoolmarm shamer of the Trumpster
Rope-a-Dope is her fate, hanging her in Independence Day crepe.
Clinton will most likely be able to sideline (neutralize) Warren by promising to appoint her to the vacant slot currently on the Supreme Court. That way Hillary gets a an automatic two-fer: She fills the SC with a perceived
progressive – thereby securing a left/centrist court majority, as well as making sure that Ms. Warren is safely out of Clinton’s way ‘for life’ as she and her grifter hubby continue on with their triangulation/strangulation what used to be fondly known as the Democratic Party and Government of the people…
Yes, I was remiss in not mentioning that as an option. Not that many bank cases come up before the SC and even then, she would be only one of nine jurists.
Does anyone think Chuck Schumer is behind this as he wants Warren out of the senate before he becomes its leader?
Interesting line of thought…
Probably more important for DNC’s puppet masters is getting her off the oversight committee than out of the Senate. As VP, She’ll still be in the Senate with a tie breaking vote. However She won’t have a bully pulpit, hamstrung to play a nodding gavel. As VP If she tries to strike out on her own against Hill-Billy’s clients, then there are plenty of ways for an administration to cripple her or tie her up in controversy.
What might be playing in Warren’s mind is if Hill-Billy will try to turf her out, put up a candidate for her Senate seat, or even sacrifice her to the Republicans. Frankly though, Wall Street isn’t the largest source of corruption money for the Clinton Foundation, not by a long yard, so if she sticks to her narrow agenda, and remains relatively ineffective, then I expect Clinton will ignore her.
My guess is the horse trading was in this area – if you don;t stab me in the back, I’ll campaign for you. That and maybe, maybe a potential nomination for SCOUS, which is likely Warren’s long term goal in going into the Senate. Senators from both parties are unlikely to refuse one of their own, even if they hate her guts, where as if she had gone into hearings as an Admin wonk, they would have nailed her hide to the Senate floor. Warren plays really long games, it’s why she’s effective at what she want’s (which isn’t always what we want).
There is also the election politics. Clinton will want a VP that can get her some of the middle-states that are borderline Trump, and a Senator from MA (or anyone one from the West Coast) is unlikely to do that., My guess, and like all the pundits, it’s just a unscientific guess is the public meeting of Warren vs. a phone call was as more of a public bone to some of the less committed “Berniecrats” (is there a better label?), trying to shore up some votes from the disaffected who are teetering on voting for Trump, while holding their nose. Warren can claim she got something in return for holding her nose and endorsing Team Hill-Billy, win-win for everyone – everyone that is but the 40% (the real poor) and maybe some small slice of the 1%. Warren is for the Middle Class, like herself, and as Tim Minchen put it, she’ll donate $50 to take a way her guilt over the poor.