Elizabeth Warren, the Fighter CBS News, full video interview at the link.
Warren was appointed chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, the fund’s watchdog. Her clashes with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the fund’s administrator, became an unlikely YouTube hit.
WARREN: “I am sorry. I just want to make sure I am following. You are saying that there have been changes in management at financial institutions –”
GEITHNER: “Where the Government acted, absolutely.”
WARREN: “– that have received TARP funds?”
GEITHNER: “Well, as I said, in the context of the interventions taken in Fannie and Freddie and AIG, just to cite three examples –”
WARREN: “I am asking about the financial institutions.”
GEITHNER: “Well, those are financial institutions.”
WARREN” “I am asking about the banks.”
“It’s no secret that Secretary Geithner and I saw the world very differently,” Warren said. “I believed his focus was far too much on the big financial institutions and not on families — to say in effect, ‘Here, take the money, please,’ rather than saying, ‘We will save our financial institutions, but believe me, there have got to be strings.’
“But none of that was on the table. It was all about how to rebuild the largest financial institutions and to get them back to profitability as soon as possible. And I just thought that was wrong.”
“You’re willing to push people; how would you describe your style?”
“Intense?” she laughed. “Well, look, the things we’re talking about are important. So I care a lot about it. And I get worked up.”
Warren dropped out of college to get married at 19, moved to Texas, and eventually graduated from the University of Houston. By 1978, she was 29 and divorced with two kids. She also had a law degree from Rutgers . . . and a gift for teaching, which eventually landed her a job at Harvard.
Her specialty was bankruptcy law and its impact on struggling families.
Strassmann asked, “You’re the daughter of a janitor, you went to a commuter college, a public law school. You became a Harvard Law School professor and a United States Senator, most of that in the last 20-25 years. How is that then not proof that the American Dream still does work for people?”
“Oh, but look at the foundations of this journey,” Warren said. “I went to public school back in the ’50s and the ’60s, graduated from college and law school in the ’70s. That’s when you could go to a commuter college and pay $50 a semester and get a really fine education.
“Today, a kid who wants to go to a public university will pay 300 percent more than her mom or dad.”