USA | Elizabeth Warren är presidentkandidaten som demokraterna aldrig fick. Om hon kandiderat hade hon utgjort ett rejält hot mot Hillary Clinton.
Till skillnad från Barack Obama har hon lyckats samarbeta med republikaner. Detta trots att hon uppfattas ligga på sitt partis vänsterkant.
Om inte attityden hos republikanerna förändras kommer alla demokrater, inklusive Hillary Clinton, att få en svår tid i Vita huset.
Och om Bernie Sanders mot förmodan skulle vinna kommer han att få det än svårare med en republikansk majoritet i kongressen.
Warren har blivit den mest kända politikern när det gäller att kritisera banker som är så stora och inflytelserika att ingen vågar låta dem gå omkull.
Hon har till och med , enligt Katrina Brooker i Bloomberg Markets, hänvisat till Teddy Roosevelt, “her favorite trust-busting president, who took on the big corporations of his day”.
När man läser Brookers artikel om Warren i Bloomberg Markets från förra året så förstår man varför hon inte är populär på Wall Street.
Barney Frank, the former congressman from Massachusetts and co-author of the Dodd-Frank legislation, says Warren has protected the act. “She can raise hell and make clear to people they will pay a political price if they try to attack it,” says Frank. In particular, he says, Warren has helped make modifying Dodd-Frank politically untenable for Democrats, without some of whom Republicans can’t hope to roll back the law. “I think it is safe until 2016,” Frank says.
“A Republican Senate would not take up Wall Street deregulation now,” says Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets, a watchdog organization that monitors Wall Street’s influence in Washington. “Nobody wants to be seen as siding with the big Wall Street banks.”
For Warren, the fight is definitely not over. In April, in a speech titled “The Unfinished Business of Financial Reform,” she laid out how she hopes to move her agenda forward. Among other things, she called for the breakup of the big banks; they are still too big to fail, she said, and bailing them out of the next crisis would cost billions. And she wants jail time for managers who violate the law. “It’s time to stop recidivism in financial crimes and to end the ‘slap on the wrist’ culture that exists at the Justice Department and the SEC,” Warren said.
An important part of her legislative agenda is the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, which she and three co-sponsors introduced in 2013. The bill is a modern version of the 1933 law that split commercial and investment banks. (The original Glass-Steagall was effectively repealed in 1999.) So far, 21st Century Glass-Steagall hasn’t gained traction on Capitol Hill, but for Wall Street, this will be one to watch.
“There are only two things I’m looking for from the biggest financial institutions in this country,” Warren says one cool spring night in New York. She’s standing before a packed crowd on the fourth floor of a Barnes & Noble bookstore on 17th Street. She’s come here, while the Senate is in recess, to promote the paperback version of her autobiography, A Fighting Chance.
Those two things she wants from the banks: “No. 1, I don’t think they ought to be able to cheat people,” Warren says. “Second thing, I don’t think they ought to be able to risk destroying this economy. Too big to fail has got to end.” The room erupts.
Warren isn’t the only politician tapping into the public’s frustration and anger at the financial system. Other lawmakers have been vocal supporters of tighter regulation. David Vitter, a Republican senator from Louisiana, sided with Warren and other Democrats in December in their fight against Citi. “I know it surprised a lot of people,” he says, explaining that he also fears the risks posed by large institutions. “Too big to fail is alive and well.” In late April, Bloomberg reported that Vitter and Warren were working together on another piece of legislation, this one designed to curb the authority of the Fed to bail out banks in a crisis. John McCain, the senator from Arizona and former Republican presidential candidate, is a co-sponsor of the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, along with Democrat Maria Cantwell and independent Angus King.
Last fall, Clinton tried to mimic Warren’s populism, declaring in a speech, “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” This was way off the mark Warren hit when she famously argued during her Senate campaign in 2011 that businesses owe some part of their success to citizens and to the government. (Obama echoed Warren’s rhetoric in his 2012 “you didn’t build that” speech.)
The Warren version is worth examining. It gives, in plain language, her view of American capitalism: “You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.”
Tidskriftsomslag: Bloomberg Markets, juni 2015.