Professor Elizabeth Warren strikes me as a smart, cool customer. I’ve only seen her on the tube on the Daily Show and the NewsHour, but you get the impression from what she says and her straight forward manner that she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to financial oversight matters and how to safeguard the American taxpayer. While my understanding of high finance is meager at best — and even director Oliver Stone and his co-screenwriters, Allen Loeb, Stephen Schiff and Stanley Weiser in Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps couldn’t explain the Big Meltdown but rather ultimately offered up a sting story you could see coming (yet the angle-playing characters in the flick somehow couldn’t) mid-way through — Ms. Warren has struck me as someone who not only knows the score but what has to be done to keep the wolves from gobbling up the entire chicken coop.
In the Watchman comic book maxi-series and subsequent movie, the venal masked thug the Comedian got the joke. He knew as one of the Watchmen, a grouping of super-heroes, that as long as he maintained the status quo, he could literally get away with murder because his actions kept the ones in power, in power. Who watchers the watchers indeed. Professor Warren is the one who came up with the idea of a federal consumer financial protection entity – which became the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But because she isn’t like the Comedian, because she isn’t a rubber stamper like many of the other lawyer-politician-lobbyists who populate the backrooms and trendy bars of the Hill and its environs, she is the natural enemy of Wall Street which means she’s the perfect person to be our watcher.
Given there was going to be united opposition from the GOP and I’m sure some Blue Dog Dems, to her nomination to head the CFPB, President Obama appointed her as special advisor to the agency, essentially making her its interim head. Of course that hasn’t stopped the long knives from coming out against her but to my way of thinking, that speaks well of the job she’s trying to do. As quoted in a Reuters piece by Alister Bull from September 21, 2010, “Wall Street is busy trying to thwart regulators from doing the job Congress laid out – keeping the big banks in check. With Elizabeth Warren leading the way, and the public keeping up its vigilance, they will not succeed.” This according to Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform.
The fact too that the Wall Street Journal, the mouthpiece for the fat cats and Meltdowners, has its boxers in a bunch over Warren speaks well of the good professor and what she’s trying to accomplish. I love it too when you go to the CFPB’s website, their letters are right there in bold emblazoned on a badge. In my fantasy Doc Warren takes a few lessons from the Comedian and goes all black ops on them Wall Street scofflaws. She knows they have untold millions, probably billions, of our money they’ve sucked up and secreted away. A few judiciously placed fiber optic cameras and other surveillance devices planted in a select number of boardrooms and pols’ offices; midnight flights to the Caymans and Switzerland where she leads a crack team of hackers and safe crackers; spreading some mullah around to develop snitches (after all we airlifted nearly $12 in $100 bills into Baghdad on shrink-wrapped pallets by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority. The cash was distributed with no proper control over who was receiving it, and how it was being spent. Millions have gone unaccounted for at this time. This was the biggest transfer of cash in the history of the Federal Reserve. Surely a few million could be shook loose for this effort); and a boat load of calculators and double A batteries for those calculators, and the CFPB will get our money back.
Or maybe she’ll recruit a handful of young math wizes, underground poker players and computer hackers and send them in undercover on Wall Street to bust them from within. Like the angst-ridden, hated, sweating protagonist in I was a Communist for the F.B.I., these operatives will be constantly be under the gun and self-doubting, trying not to lose sight of their objectives as they pillage on paper the American public while gathering the evidence to nail these greedy bastards to the wall. I can see one of their memoirs now…I Was an Arbitrager for the CFPB.