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General News    H2'ed 9/20/10

Elizabeth Warren And The Prospects For Real Reform

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"This sounds so bleak when I say it, but we need some delusions to keep us going."

Woody Allen in the New York Times

"The former chairman of Lazard in London who is now chairman of Barclays, once said that the only two things that would survive a nuclear war were cockroaches and Lazard. On the evidence of the past few years, he underestimated the tenacity of the rest of the investment banking industry."

William Wright. Editor, Financial News, London

WARREN IN OFFICE BUT NOT IN POWER AS BANKSTERS CHEER TEPID RULES ON ANNIVERSARY OF LEHMAN'S FALL

By Danny Schechter. Author, The Crime of Our Time.

Hooray, Elizabeth Warren is to become a Special Assistant to President Obama in charge of setting up the Consumer Protection Bureau that she conceived. Alas, it is not to be the independent agency she wanted but a bureau within the Federal Reserve Bank, a branch of government that is really run by big banks which and did virtually nothing to protect consumers when they needed help the most.

For the Obamacrats, this is a good move in political terms because the White House had been battered by the Democratic base to appoint the outspoken Warren to the job, Asked about the issue at his recent press conference, he was his usual coy and cautious self. He said he hadn't decided.

Now he has--but not to appoint her to the job she deserves but to a post in the Executive Branch under his control and with oversight by Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, and Rahm Emanuel et. al. (The White House worries that they could not win a protracted confirmation battle.)

So she's in, but hardly in charge, or able to be an independent force. Remember that quote from the Godfather taken from Chinese military strategist Sun Tsu: "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

The usually on-target blog, Naked Capitalism, suggests that the Warren appointment was just a way to sideline her, not put her in a position of real power. In any event, the new Bureau's rules will not be in effect until 2012, if then. So much for urgency!

What did Warren think? I have known and admired her work for years. I sent her a congratulatory note and asked her if she was happy about the appointment. Her emailed response:

"I'm happy. Thanks."

Warren has posted positively about her new job on The White House website and reports having had several meetings with President Obama.

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.
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