Thursday, October 8, 2009
Elizabeth Warren is far from a household name, but that could change quickly, given her debut on the big screen this week in Michael Moore's scathing assessment of the government's handling of the banking crisis.
The Harvard professor chairs the bipartisan Congressional Oversight Panel, which evaluates how effectively financial institutions are using $700 billion in federal money through the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).
Warren emerges as one of the heroines of "Capitalism: A Love Story" when she bluntly tells the lefty filmmaker that she doesn't know where the taxpayers' money has gone because the government attached no strings to the TARP money.
In fact, she has told anyone who will listen that the money used to rescue the banks had no paper trail once it left the Treasury. "We have a system that originally put more than $200 billion into the financial institutions basically saying 'Just take it,' " she said in an interview.
Passionate and engaging, Warren has long been a fearless advocate for the middle class. She has been embraced by the left-wing blogosphere for challenging economic policymakers and has become a thorn in the side of the bankers and credit card companies, which, she insists, should be better regulated.
Watch the interview at http://www.washingtonpost.com/voices-of-power.
-- Lois Romano