Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is the kind of woman who understands the squeeze the middle class faces with enough specificity that she can be part of the solution. To solve a problem, you first have to get to the bottom of it, which she has Once you see the videos I post here, you'll understand why she's worth getting to know a bit.
Elizabeth Warren saw the financial collapse coming, long in advance. When appointed by President Obama to oversee the creation of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she spearheaded the effort to rewrite mortgage documents to make them more clear for everyone involved. Then at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, she was a of a rockstar speaking before Bill Clinton. Let's have a look at Elizabeth Warren's mortgage fixes, and that big DNC speech.
My respect for Elizabeth Warren formed as I watched a video a friend shared with me, long before the start of the Great Recession. At the time she was a Professor at Harvard Law School. She gave the following lecture at UC Berkeley called, "The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class: Higher Risks, Lower Rewards, and a Shrinking Safety Net." While the following video is about an hour long, after watching it you may think Warren is a modern day Nostradamus. Except, instead of speaking in grey language, she gets to the bottom of things with specific facts and figures.
When you watch this video, remember UC Berkeley's site puts the date of this speech as June 11, 2007, a full year and a half before the collapse. Watch as she explains the trajectory America was on in complete 360 degree detail.
Elizabeth Warren is not a prophet. She has just done her homework. This is the kind of person I want in charge.
President Obama appointed Elizabeth Warren to advise in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB was formed by Obama and Congress to address the root of the housing problem — faulty mortgages. It was also formed to protect Americans from confusing credit card documents and any other misleading financial paperwork. The goal: let Americans really know what they are getting themselves into because they will make better choices if they are more informed.
She launched the "Know before you owe," program to help make things clearer. Her results were excellent. Having bought a house several years ago, I was completely mystified by the process. I had been lost dozens of times in the twisting road of confusing paperwork. And yes, mortgage lenders had fooled me repeatedly on purpose. She created a web page where people could read a few possible mortgage documents and submit recommended edits directly. Then, people could vote for the version they thought was clearer.
The end result are documents that the lenders themselves liked more because they enjoyed explaining things to people with ease. Home buyers finally knew all the details of what they were getting into. Her solution made all parties involved happier. Take a look at her mortgage fixes.
Take a look as she explains the project on CNN:
The root of the financial crisis was the housing market. When given a task central to addressing that crisis at the roots, Elizabeth Warren nailed it.
It is important to note that congressional Republicans threatened to block her appointment to lead the CFPB that she helped found. Not only that, but they worked to weaken consumer protections and take the teeth out of the bureau. Guess what: You are a consumer. Republicans were working against you.
Republicans failed to block it and now you can use this "submit a complaint" form to report an abusive financial product. There are banks who have been sued by the government now because they tried to fool consumers. Will the economy be stronger if Americans are not being tricked into buying things that will blow up in their face?
Well, she didn't get that job at CFPB so she went for a bigger one. Here is Elizabeth Warren as the "warm-up act for Bill Clinton." She showed heart, strong values, integrity, and courage. It's awesome to watch someone step out on a stage in front of 20,000 people live and millions at home who were ready to see the former president.
So, Elizabeth Warren saw the collapse coming long before it happened. That speech I showed you wasn't researched in a day. She knew the storm clouds were forming long in advance, maybe years. Would America have averted the crisis had she been in the Senate informing the Congress? Who knows, but I want her there now.
Then she got to the root of the housing crisis by fixing the transaction in a way that lenders and home buyers liked. What would it be like to have another person in the Senate who really solves problems?
So, Elizabeth Warren is a bit of a genius. She's got the heart, the values, and the American people in mind. The DNC speech ahead of Bill Clinton showed that Elizabeth Warren is just enough of a rock star to lead on the national stage from Congress.