Sherrod Brown would like to see Elizabeth Warren appointed as the head of the new consumer financial protection agency, and so would I. I think she would make an excellent choice. Here's one reason why. She's been holding Tim Geithner's feet to the fire with her current TARP oversight duties.
Geithner and Warren Duel Over Banks’ Health:
When it comes to the health of the banking system, Timothy F. Geithner and Elizabeth Warren don’t see eye to eye.
Mr. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, told the Congressional Oversight Panel on Tuesday that the Troubled Asset Relief Program had been “remarkably effective” in stabilizing the banking system, noting that the program was on track to end in October with only minimal losses to the taxpayers.
But Ms. Warren, the panel’s chairwoman, questioned whether the banks were really stable enough to stand on their own without the program’s government safety net, and she called for another round of stress tests to make sure the banks are sound.
Ms. Warren was particularly concerned about the billions of dollars worth of bad securities and questionable commercial real estate loans still on the banks’ balance sheets. These relics from the boom years could haunt the banks in the future, possibly forcing them back into the arms of the government. Read on...
Elizabeth Warren appeared on the PBS Newshour and expressed similar concerns about the health of the banks and relief on foreclosures with Judy Woodruff.
TARP Watchdog: Foreclosure Program 'Too Small, Too Slow:
JUDY WOODRUFF: We heard Secretary Geithner say today he thinks the TARP program has worked remarkably well. Taxpayers are getting most of their money back. Should that be the main measurement of its success?
ELIZABETH WARREN: Well, it should be one of the measurements.
And, look, it's always part of the measurement that the initial action very well may have pulled us back from the brink of a depression. The big question is, what are we going to do with the money now? TARP is winding down. There's three more months to figure out whether or not we actually have adequate stability in the financial institutions and what to do about home mortgage foreclosure.
We only have this limited period of time to adjust the programs, to change the programs to try to deal with those problems.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let me ask you about the home mortgage foreclosures. You had a very animated exchange with the secretary over that question.
ELIZABETH WARREN: We did.
JUDY WOODRUFF: He says the success, as we heard him say, can be measured family by family, that it was never intended to help everybody.
ELIZABETH WARREN: Well, you know, no one disputes that. Of course it was never intended to help everybody. But it was intended to help somebody.
The problem we have got -- let me put it this way. This is a program that is saving a tiny number of people, ultimately, by getting them into affordable mortgages that the estimates are they will be able to sustain over time.
And for every one of those families that goes in, there are many, many more families who never make it. And the kinds of numbers we're looking at, we're looking at mortgage foreclosures that stay well over a million families this year, next year, the year after that, the year after that.
That has implications, not only for those families, but for the financial institutions that are holding those mortgages, for the construction industry, for our overall economy. We have a serious problem and a limited amount of time to get ahead of it. HAMP is not getting ahead of it.
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