NPR's Adam Davidson assaults our defender, Elizabeth Warren
Go listen. Then read the comments. Here's a partial transcript I made; the relevant portion starts at 6:00; I start transcribing at 9:00:
ADAM DAVIDSON: What it feels to me is what you are missing is that -- I think we put aside your pet issues. We put them aside. We put them aside until this crisis is over.
ELIZABETH WARREN: The cr-- What you're saying makes no sense. Now come on. [interpolate Davidson sputtering and attempting to interrupt throughout.] It makes no sense. On an emergency basis, on one day, one week, one month, there's no doubt in my mind we've got to step in, we've got to make sure we have a functioning banking system. I think I've said that like nine times now. Of course we've got to have a functioning banking system.
DAVIDSON: Wait a minute. I want to make you go farther. I want to make you madder before I --
ELIZABETH WARREN: No no no. [Davidson snickers] We're now at what -- we're now seven, eight months into this. And it's the second part of what you said. We can't do anything about the American family until this crisis is over? This crisis will not be over until the American family begins to recover. [More Davidson sputtering.] This crisis does not exist independently --
DAVIDSON: That's your crisis.
ELIZABETH WARREN: No it is not my crisis! That is America's crisis! If people cannnot pay their credit card bills [Davidson tries to interrupt] if they cannot pay their mortgages --
DAVIDSON: But you are not in the mainstream of views on this issue. You are not --
ELIZABETH WARREN: What, if they can't pay their credit card bills the banks are gonna do fine? Who are you looking at?
DAVIDSON: The [sputters]--
ELIZABETH WARREN: Who says a bank a bank is going to survive -- Who is not worried about the fact that the Bank of America's default rate has now bumped over 10%? That's at least the latest data I saw. So the idea that we're going to somehow fix the banks and then next year or next decade we're going to start worrying about the American family just doesn't [Davidson talking over] make any sense.
DAVIDSON: The American families are not -- These issues of crucial, the essential need for credit intermediation are as close to accepted principles among every serious thinker on this topic. The view that the American family, that you hold very powerfully, is fully under assault and that there is -- and we can get into that -- that is not accepted broad wisdom. I talk to a lot a lot a lot of left, right, center, neutral economists [and] you are the only person I've talked to in a year of covering this crisis who has a view that we have two equally acute crises: a financial crisis and a household debt crisis that is equally acute in the same kind of way. I literally don't know who else I can talk to support that view. I literally don't know anyone other than you who has that view, and you are the person [snicker] who went to Congress to oversee it and you are presenting a very, very narrow view to the American people.
ELIZABETH WARREN: I'm sorry. That is not a narrow view. What you are saying is that it is the broad view to think only about trying to save the banks [Davidson sputters] and say Hey! the American economy will recover at some point and we'll worry about the families [Davidson talking over]. I think that is the narrow view and I think I have the broad view. The broad view is that these two things are connected to each other. And the notion that you can save the banking system while the American economy goes down the tubes is just foolish.
NPR commenter: "Wow. Got a little heated there."
And there you have it. To NPR, 30 years of economic injustice and how that creates the yardstick to evaluate TARP, are "pet issues."
Fuck you, Adam. Fuck you very much.
It's getting so that NPR, as Sarah would say, makes my back teeth itch: It's the smiling smugness that gets to me, the insider snickering, and the vicious little digs at the unkewl, and all wrapped up in urbane seeming civility. From the intro befor the portion transcribed above: "financial stuff that affects every day people," "it seems that's she's the reasonable one," "the other issues that she happens to care passionately about," "I want to make you madder" (because in Versailles, getting angry is so, so uncivil). No question that NPR is the best of Versailles. But they're the best of Versailles. They're doing what everybody else in Versailles is doing: Nailing the Overton Window firmly in place so that it can't be dragged left, and those nasty peasants know their place. It's just that they're part of the team that's hammering their nails at the left-hand side of the sill instead of the right.
Here's the first comment (as of this morning):
Adam complains about the TARP Oversight Board failures, but Planet Money has not been doing its job. PM has *never* addressed the fact that the private banking system (which needs federal deposit insurance to be trustworthy to depositors) determines the purposes for which money will be created, when they issue loans. PM’s treatment of a bank balance sheet left out this key point, suggesting that banks only lend a combination of their capital and deposits, which is not true. They create (loan) money they do not have. They are expected to be careful with money creation, because, due to their leverage, they will be easily wiped out if they make mistakes. But “financial innovation" caused banks to abdicate their role in determining credit risks, and little of the “talent" in banks today relates to determining borrowers’ creditworthiness. The banking crisis reveals that the risks the private banking system takes are socialized, while the profits are privatized. Given this reality, it’s time for discussion about the responsibilities of banks to the society. PM has been tiptoeing around these issues, but has not taken them on directly. To harass Dr. Warren for her take on such issues is, as many have said here, shameful.
If you must give to Nice Polite Republicans, give to your local station, where might have some impact, and make sure they understand you're paying for Bill Moyers, and not paying Davidson to throw crap like this.