It's official: "Wall Street's worst nightmare" is now among the few with some kind of power over it.
Not much of a surprise at this point, but Massachusetts Senator-elect and former Republican Elizabeth Warren was formally nominated for a seat on the Senate Banking Committee. That appointment still requires a vote of the Democratic caucus, but it's all but a foregone conclusion that the woman who calls herself the intellectual godmother of the Occupy Wall Street movement and who has pushed for tougher rules for banks will now be among those writing the rules. At the very least, she has won a hell of a bully pulpit.
This is going to give Warren a choice perch from which to continue to press the crusade for Wall Street oversight and accountability. And it continues a battle between her and Wall Street that stretches back literally years. Warren, a consumer advocate and expert in bankruptcy law, angered Wall Street when she pressed state attorneys general to demand a huge settlement from major banks and financial institutions they were investigating for improper foreclosure procedures. Warren was also the inspiration behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which produced one of the ironies of her career.
The obvious choice to lead that agency, Wall Street pulled out all the stops to keep her from getting the nod, and President Barack Obama capitulated.
Tactically-speaking, it was perhaps not the best decision the banks ever made, as it left Warren with little else to do but teach law to Harvard students. So she decided to run for Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat and now probably has it, and a spot on the Banking Committee, for the rest of her life. And worse still, the 47%-plus seem to agree with her.
Warren Is Nominated for Senate Banking Committee [DealBook]
Warren appointed to Senate Banking Committee [Bloomberg]
Sen.-elect Warren to serve on influential Banking Committee [The Hill]
It’s on: Elizabeth Warren versus Wall Street [WaPo Plum Line blog]
Poll finds support for Elizabeth Warren's "balanced approach" [Salon]
Good to be King: Rookie gets sweet panel seats [Politico]