Economy

An honest-to-God advocate gets a top job

No, not on the national security team — get real. And not exactly a top job — her power as head of a panel. . . .

extends a bit beyond the “bully pulpit” but falls far short of a veto over specific proposals or programs

I speak of Elizabeth Warren, who, in a move I completely missed, was named by Harry Reid to be chairperson of the federal bailout oversight panel.

If you’re unfamiliar with the amazing Ms. Warren and haven’t seen her, on, for example, PBS, she’s a Harvard law professor specializing in consumer credit laws and personal bankruptcy reform. She also co-authored The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers & Fathers Are Going Broke (Basic Books, 2003), a classic of American empathy.

In other words, she’s on our side. From the New York Times today by Diana Henriques. . .

Bailout Monitor Sees Lack of a Coherent Plan

Excerpts (emphases added):

Elizabeth Warren [said] that the government. . . seemed to be lurching from one tactic to the next without clarifying how each step fits into an overall plan. …

Meetings with Treasury officials so far have made her question whether they understand that “household financial health is profoundly tied to the economic health of the nation,” she said. “You cannot repair this economy if you can’t repair those families, and I’m not sure the people directing the bailout see that as their job.”

In her view, the government should be trying to create more reliable customers for those banks by shoring up the fragile finances of the millions of American families that could not save, borrow or spend even if their banks were flush with capital.

“Any effective policy has to start with the households,” she said. “Years of flat wages, low savings and high debt have left America’s households extremely vulnerable.”

She understands us. She really understands us.

Categories: Economy

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