Is Elizabeth Warren running?? American political conversation continues to be shallow enough to need a steady stream of New Topics to pointlessly speculate about. It’s been many days since the last election so it must be time to start guessing (gassing) about candidates for the next one.
Elizabeth Warren is a little more interesting in this regard than most however. She is the first in memory that has the real feel of leftery who has also the real feel of being taken seriously. I am a late adopter of all things, including bandwagons, so I am still standing on the curb like a child at a parade, with my hands in my pockets and jumping a bit each time I feel the big boom of the marching drums in my little chest.
But a couple of things are noteworthy about her putative candidacy, or rather her mere existence. The first thing you think of when you think of Warren is financial regulations, and yay to that. For all the scary-math swagger of Those Who Explain How the Economy Really Works, I have yet to read a persuasive case made for how much added value we get from the mushrooming financial sector and the financialization of the US economy and the stupendous wealth these people seem to be raking out of the system for that hard-to-define added value. And then there is that lingering question as to whether it is believable that so few of them engaged in unpunishable behavior in the casino-like financial free-for-all that immediately preceded the giant financial collapse that brought you down, but not them.
There is, of course, the problem of too-big-to-fail, but hidden in that formulation about size is a larger question about financial regulations about practices. Because if you break up the big banks into many smaller ones, and leave dangerous speculation unregulated, and most of the newly-smaller institutions engage in that very same speculation in order to stay competitive, well then I don’t see how you’ve taken systemic risk out of the economy. I for one am happy to see Ms Warren in the vicinity to help explain things. Now can we request seeing her on the Sunday shows as frequently as some of the familiar, tiresome, discredited old men please?