Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

What Wall Street Fears Most

Follow the money, Deep Throat advised during Watergate. Today’s open secret is how badly Really Big Money wants to beat Elizabeth Warren for the Massachusetts Senate seat of Scott Brown and Ted Kennedy before him.

At the Democratic convention, the loathing was mutual as Warren attacked on prime time TV: “Wall Street CEOs--the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs--still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.”

She was speaking in the wake of her own work setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the massive pressure against implementation of Dodd-Frank reform that kept the President from appointing her to head it.

“The big banks sure didn't like it,” Warren said, “and they marshaled one of the biggest lobbying forces on earth to destroy the agency before it ever saw the light of day.”

Now Wall Street is facing another nightmare—-seeing her elected to the Senate and becoming a member of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee that is supposed to control its excesses. Her vote might not be decisive, but her voice would be powerful.

As Senate control overall teeters in the balance of 2012 maneuvering, this one race takes on layers of significance.

Asked in debate last night why her state had never elected a woman to the Senate or as governor, Warren answered like a true politician, evoking cheers from supporters. “Right now,” she said, “I’m trying to do something about that.”

She may not want to confront sexism head on but from here to November she will need all the help she can get to overcome the power of money in tipping the Washington scales toward sanity.

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