Elizabeth Warren Predicted The Financial Collapse Back In 2004


Elizabeth Warren,  a Harvard Law Professor and the current chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Committee in charge of overseeing usage of the TARP bailout funds, predicted the financial collapse long before anyone else was talking about it.

In this 2004 interview with Dean Lawrence R. Velvel where she discusses her book, The Two Income Trap,  she reveals the instability that pervades the lives of most middle class Americans and why so many end up in Bankruptcy court. She says that in order to keep up with the expenses, people with median incomes have been forced to borrow and borrow. Why? Because the median income in the United States is increasingly not enough to keep up with the cost of living. She talks about the fixed expenses that families have, such as the mortgage payment, health insurance, and educational expenses as having grown dramatically in the last generation. It is important to understand, here, that, these fixed expenses can’t be cut back.  That’s why they’re called “fixed expenses.”


She also talks about income distribution in America and what that means for us in the future. Instead of being a nation where the income distribution looks like a bell curve, that is with a large section in the middle and small sections on either side for the richest and the poorest Americans, the income distribution in America is now heavily weighted toward the upper end, among a small number of people.  This means, really, that the middle class is shrinking and we’ve really become a two tiered society. We have a very small number of folks at the top with the lion’s share of the wealth, and everyone else who is scrambling to snag whatever scraps there are left.

The reason I’m writing about this six year old interview is because financial reform has just passed, and with it, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created. This agency is the brainchild of Ms. Warren and she has long advocated for its creation. The agency will ensure that consumers are better informed about financial products, from credit cards to home mortgages and will protect consumers from abusive industry practices.

Since the CFPB was Ms. Warren’s idea in the first place, and since she is such a tireless and knowledgeable advocate on behalf of middle and working class Americans, she should be the natural choice to be the first director of the CFPB.

The Wall Street and the banking elites do not like Ms. Warren because she isn’t afraid to take them on. The lobbyists for these groups have been pouring millions and millions of dollars into campaigning against the financial reform bill and the creation of the CFPB. They really don’t want to see Ms. Warren at its head because they know she will actually write effective rules that get to the heart of their abusive practices and put a halt to them.

This woman knew in 2004 that the “seemingly” booming economy during the bubble years was actually a house of cards just waiting for a stiff breeze to knock it over. We need her in that CFPB, and if not, President Obama should get rid of that bank sycophant, Geithner, and replace him with her as Treasury Secretary.

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