Call it karma, maybe, but Wall Street just can’t shake Elizabeth Warren. The consumer-advocate turned Senator-elect Warren has reportedly won a spot on the Senate Banking Committee, a perfect spot for a woman whose critique of Wall Street started well before her run for Senate.
Wall Street has to see this has terrible news. Big Finance spent close to $9 million dollars trying to prevent her election win, and that was before they spent the two years prior to Warren’s Senate run blocking attempts to name her the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the government agency Warren helped create.
On the Senate Banking Committee Warren will now have a key role in writing banking legislation, including standing up to attempts by Republicans to further gut the Dodd-Frank Act and to limit Wall Street liability for foreclosure and lending fraud. Warren has also called for a return to Glass-Steagall, a Depression-era law that prevented commercial banks from also operating as investment banks. Many of the bad investments made by Wall Street were possible only because Glass-Steagall had been repealed.
Decisions on committee assignments won’t be formally decided until early next year after the entire Senate Democratic caucus votes on those assignments. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. NV) makes recommendations to the caucus, who then vote on his choices. It is unlikely that rank-and-file lawmakers would vote against a recommendation like Warren for the Banking Committee.
Should Warren find a seat on the Senate Banking Committee, the reality of the 2012 election should start to sink in for the right even more. This is not the Senate of just a few months ago, and they are certainly no longer dealing with Warren’s predecessor Sen. Scott Brown (R), a Wall Street lapdog only in favor of regulations designed to prop up the Old Boys Club. And that’s a fact that makes Warren’s victory and likely appointment all the sweeter.
In so many ways women like Warren are the real leaders in the fight against Wall Street corruption. Her first book, “The Two Income Trap,” chronicled the decline of the middle class at the expense of the hedge fund class before such topics were fashionable in the press. During the height of our irrational exuberance Warren doggedly warned of Wall Street smoke-and-mirrors that would come crashing down and bury generations of Americans with bad debt and no way to clear themselves out from under it.
It’s good to think a leader like Elizabeth Warren is really just getting started.
Thank you to all of the Care2 members who signed the petition to put Warren on the Banking Committee!
Photo of Nancy Pelosi (left) and Elizabeth Warren from Leader Nancy Pelosi via flickr.