Good news from the Dems on bailout oversight: Elizabeth Warren named to panel
Here's the announcement:
Elizabeth Warren is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard University, where her research areas include bankruptcy and commercial law and financially distressed companies. She serves on the FDIC’s Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion and previously served as Vice President of the American Law Institute and as an advisor to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission.
(The other guys are Richard Neiman, New York State’s Superintendent of Banks, and Damon Silvers, of the AFL-CIO.) Looks like Leader Nance did something right, for once. Here's an earlier post where we drew attention to Elizabeth Warren, quoting her as follows:
Every day, middle-class families carry higher risks that a job loss or a medical problem will push them over the edge. Although plenty of families make it, a growing number who worked just as hard and followed the rules just as carefully find themselves in a financial nightmare. The security of middle-class life has disappeared. The new reality is millions of families whose grip on the good life can be shaken loose in an instant.
During the same period, families have been asked to absorb much more risk in their retirement income. In 1985, there were 112,200 defined-benefit pension plans with employers and employer groups around the country; today their number has shrunk to 29,700 such plans, and those are melting away fast.
For younger families, the picture is not any better. Both the absolute cost of healthcare and the share of it borne by families have risen and newly fashionable health-savings plans are spreading from legislative halls to Wal-Mart workers, with much higher deductibles and a large new dose of investment risk for families future healthcare. Even demographics are working against the middle class family, as the odds of having a frail elderly parent and all the attendant need for physical and financial assistance have jumped eightfold in just one generation.
From the middle-class family perspective, much of this, understandably, looks far less like an opportunity to exercise more financial responsibility, and a good deal more like a frightening acceleration of the wholesale shift of financial risk onto their already overburdened shoulders.
(Here's Warren's complete article.)
And the Bush administration, by ladling out two trillion dollars, give or take, to Hank Paulson's golfing buddies, accelerated the acceleration still further. We're the ones paying. Why is that?
Listen to Warren's "Coming Collapse of the Middle Class," too. It's an hour long, so fuck All Things Considered, eh? Just listen:
NOTE Via Atrios, who notes it's about time. We can only hope that the classic Conservatives strategy of letting liberals take power only when the cupboard is completely bare has not been applied in this case.