Think again! (That is, if you think that the U.S. government and publicly subsidized banking system should work for the little people instead of for the banksters. I’m sure Larry Summers is taken to be a very serious person.) Elizabeth Warren, on the other hand–not so much. Lambert at Corrente was all over this last weekend, and this morning TalkLeft posted a brief explanation and a link to an NPR interview with Warren in which she is lectured by Adam Davidson, who has zero credentials in law, government, economics, or banking that I can find. Warren, on the other hand, has a CV as long as your leg–but that doesn’t matter! She still gets a lecture from a man who asked her for an interview. From the TalkLeft synopsis:
Davidson accuses Warren of stepping beyond her bailout watchdog role to advocate for her “pet issues” (Davidson isn’t specific about what Warren’s “pet issues” are but presumably he is referring to Warren’s advocacy for consumers in a number of areas from credit cards to mortgages).
When Warren points out that the financial crisis will “not be over until the American family begins to recover” and that the financial crisis does not “exist independently” from problems experienced by American families (skyrocketing foreclosure rates, high debt levels on credit cards), Davidson sarcastically interjects “that’s your crisis.”
My favorite part is when Davidson informs her quite patronizingly that she is all alone, and that no “serious thinkers” agree with her (from Lambert’s partial transcript):
DAVIDSON: The American families are not — These issues of crucial, the essential need for credit intermediation are as close to accepted principles among every serious thinker on this topic. The view that the American family, that you hold very powerfully, is fully under assault and that there is — and we can get into that — that is not accepted broad wisdom. I talk to a lot a lot a lot of left, right, center, neutral economists [and] you are the only person I’ve talked to in a year of covering this crisis who has a view that we have two equally acute crises: a financial crisis and a household debt crisis that is equally acute in the same kind of way. I literally don’t know who else I can talk to support that view. I literally don’t know anyone other than you who has that view, and you are the person [snicker] who went to Congress to oversee it and you are presenting a very, very narrow view to the American people.
ELIZABETH WARREN: I’m sorry. That is not a narrow view. What you are saying is that it is the broad view to think only about trying to save the banks [Davidson sputters] and say Hey! the American economy will recover at some point and we’ll worry about the families [Davidson talking over]. I think that is the narrow view and I think I have the broad view. The broad view is that these two things are connected to each other. And the notion that you can save the banking system while the American economy goes down the tubes is just foolish.
Sometimes I wake up and feel like it’s 2002 all over again. “Everyone agrees that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction! No serious people think we shouldn’t invade Iraq!” Never mind that Iraq didn’t attack us on 9/11/2001, and never mind that Saudis were in the majority among the hijackers. Thanks, serious thinkers! How about if instead of Adam Davidson’s idea of serious thinkers running the show, can we please have journalists and government officials who are looking for good solutions to real problems, instead of bad solutions to fake problems? Please?