Econosphere: 'Elizabeth Warren or bust'
By Dylan Matthews
Elizabeth Warren is the most prominent and polarizing candidate to lead the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The idea for an independent federal agency to protect ordinary borrowers from abuses by lenders was largely Warren's idea, and Congress made it a reality as part of the legislation adopted last month to overhaul financial regulations.
Here's what economists and bloggers are saying about her candidacy:
Felix Salmon defends Warren against her critics:
As for the idea that "additional millions of Americans would have lost jobs and income" had the government not intervened in AIG as it did, well, maybe. And maybe not. But it's not the COP's job to start disappearing down that particular rabbit hole: instead, its job is simply to look at whether TARP money was well spent. And two things seem pretty obvious to me: firstly, if the TARP money were leveraged through the addition of some funds from AIG creditors, the government would have got more bank for its buck. And secondly, the government never seriously considered doing that. It's right and proper for Warren to point that out. And it's certainly no disqualification when it comes to the CFPB job, no matter what weird jihad the editors of the Fiscal Times seem to be on.
Noam Scheiber explains why he thinks Warren will be confirmed:
According to TPMDC, the Democratic Senate nominee in Kentucky, Jack Conway, has come out in favor of Warren. The major-party nominees for federal office are usually pretty good at assessing their own self-interest. And even if you grant that there's some margin for error here, the fact that a Senate nominee in Kentucky -- hardly a bastion of liberalism -- can make a plausible political case for endorsing Warren suggests her nomination will have some resonance in middle America. (It also further demonstrates that red-state Dems will have a tough time opposing her in the Senate.)
David Corn argues that not appointing Warren would say something about Obama's view of the Left:
Progressives are talking about Warren as if this could be their last straw regarding Obama. I doubt it. As important as this appointment is, there are larger issues to fret about: what to do in Afghanistan, how to re-ignite the economy. Yet what Obama does with Warren will be telling. After all, why not appoint and then fight for the obvious (and best) choice? Should he spurn Warren, the president will have a problem that extends beyond the "professional left."
August 18, 2010; 11:01 AM ET
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