I first encountered Elizabeth Warren’s work when I took a bankruptcy seminar some years ago. The class was billed as a “lunchtime” course. I thought that meant they’d give us lunch. It meant we skipped lunch to take the course.
I was hungry and therefore cranky, and flipping impatiently through the “supplementary” course materials (“right-leaning, advocate for lenders, lunatic laissez-faire right-winger, why oh why did I sign up for this?”) when I came on a piece Warren wrote for inclusion in a bankruptcy casebook.
Her work stuck out in that collection, because it was written from the perspective of the debtor, making the course “background” content, oh, probably, ten to one, lender/debtor. Fair and balanced.
This is a recent editorial by Elizabeth Warren, in a Florida newspaper. I don’t know if it’s in a Florida newspaper because that’s a very good place to talk about foreclosure, or because we won’t be seeing as much of Warren in the national media now that she’s selling her new regulatory agency, instead of overseeing the bank bailout and criticizing the Obama Administration. We’ll see.
In any event, I was pleased to see that she’s trying to get the word out. I suspect it will take her some time to bring people around to her wildly controversial views, like this one:
Had it existed, the new consumer agency could have stopped these problems before they multiplied. Many of the failures already admitted were not sophisticated scams that had been carefully concealed. By enforcing existing laws and involving state authorities early on, the agency could have made sure that the law was respected. No one would need to wonder whether the world of borrowing and lending works only one way: Families have to follow the legal rules, but the rules are optional for big banks.
I love that she did this, and hope it catches on:
A few weeks ago, I watched proceedings in a Fort Lauderdale foreclosure court and saw firsthand the painful outcomes for numerous families.
An afternoon spent watching proceedings in a state foreclosure court should be required coursework for lawmakers and regulators.