Hillary Clinton's campaign for 2016 is more than likely to border on the Dickensian as she fights of the ghosts of past, present, and future.
Between the Whitewaters, Benghazis, Lewinskys, foreign donations and email accounts, Hillary can anticipate being dogged by more than enough baggage to make her whole operation feel a bit embattled. So, it can't be good news at Hillary's Brooklyn HQ that yet another unwelcome ghost of the Clinton administration has floated back to haunt the campaign.
Remember Brooksley Born?
Oh, sure you do, she's the former CFTC chair that went to war with Alan Greenspan, Larry Summers and Bob Rubin over the deregulation of derivatives? She's the one who told them that they were getting dangerously hands-off, but they decided she was just a pain-in-the-ass and got rid of her? Maybe you'll remember her as the lady that won awards for being a prescient, yet ultimately ignored, voice in what caused the financial crisis?
Basically, Brooksley Born is a living embodiment of every criticism that Bill Clinton's White House got way too close to Wall Street. And since the popular narrative states that Hillary can't win or govern without being the same way, she's the kind of figure best left in the late 90s (you know, like Gerardo). Lucky for Hillary, Brooksley has been retired and pretty quiet since 1999.
Well, bad news for Hillary. Brooksley Born is back!
“The power and influence of the financial sector threatens a continuation of the regulatory capture that contributed to the financial crisis. Financial firms, too often, have significant say in the appointment of high regulatory officials. The tendency of some former government officials to obtain highly lucrative positions in the financial sector after leaving government may well act as an inducement to those remaining in government to serve the interest of the financial sector rather than those of the public.”
That's Born talking at the "Finance & Society" Conference being held in Washington DC this week. Born is just one of a few speakers that will be featured at the conference, which - judging from its lineup of ladies like Elizabeth Warren, Janet Yellen and Christine Lagarde - seems to be designed as a real shot across the bow at the Clinton campaign.
For Hillary, Born's possible resurgence into the public sphere could prove to be a real annoyance. A heroic regulator of the left who also happens to be a woman and was forced out of Bill Clinton's administration for being correct is not exactly the archetype Hillary was hoping to meet on the campaign trail.
Especially not one who says stuff like this about Hillary's good friends at JPMorgan.
“With respect to derivatives trading, JPMorgan lost $6 billion through speculative trading of the London Whale and both MF Global and Peregrine Financial went bankrupt after allegedly engaging in misappropriation of customer funds. In light of all this, we must ask ourselves whether the financial and political power of our largest financial firms poses a threat to our policy making on financial regulation and seriously undercuts the administration of justice.”
So, as Hillary tours through her past while accelerating towards her future, she's starting to see old faces in new places when she'd rather likely not be seeing them at all.