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Elizabeth Warren: ‘I don’t have a badge and a gun. The power of this panel is derived entirely from the voice of the American people’

April 15th, 2009 by selise

The Boston Globe has posted an interview with Elizabeth Warren (chair of TARP Congressional Oversight Panel).

In the interview she describes what the TARP plan is supposed to accomplish, "Treasury has given us multiple contradictory explanations for what it’s trying to accomplish," the difficulty in getting any information from Treasury, "I’ve spent four weeks now looking for someone who can give me the details of the stress test so that we can do an independent evaluation of whether the stress test is any good" and lots more.

The interview is short and ends with this question:

Q: Is there anything else that you would want people to understand?

A: I don’t have a badge and a gun. The power of this panel is derived entirely from the voice of the American people. If they stay out of the policy debates, then Treasury can spend at will and reshape the American economy with no one in the room but insiders. If they are involved, the policies will look different.

It’s the design of the rules going forward that will tell us or that will determine whether we are moving to a cyclical economy with high wealth, high risk, and crashes every 10 to 15 years. Or whether we will emerge, as we did following the new regulatory reforms in the Great Depression, with a more stable economic system that benefits people across the economic spectrum. It’s an amazing moment in history.

For anyone wanting to know more about Warren, I highly recommend her 2007 interview with Harry Kreisler, The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class: Higher Risks, Lower Rewards, and a Shrinking Safety Net.

x-posted at oxdown

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