Neither Scott Brown nor Elizabeth Warren had much to say during their campaign about Warren’s expertise on bankruptcy and financial regulation. Writing for The Daily Beast, Daniel Gross makes her sound like an impact player:
At no time in recent history has there been a senator who knows so much about Wall Street—and is so little beholden to it.
Gross says the assumption is she’ll be named to the Senate Banking Committee, where she’ll be able to oversee the implementation of Dodd-Frank and protect her Consumer Finance Protection Bureau from efforts to undermine it. But while Brown caricatured Warren as a party-line Democratic hack, her record suggests otherwise:
Neil Barofsky, the former inspector general of TARP, expects Warren to cause bipartisan trouble in Washington. “She will bring a lot of headaches to the Democratic leadership—or at least that’s what I hope she does,” says Barofsky, who worked with Warren on TARP oversight.
Several Democrats, including Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Sen. Chris Dodd, didn’t support her efforts to run CFPB. If the past is any guide, protecting consumers from the predations of financial firms will likely put her in direct conflict with her party’s leadership. And Warren isn’t a go-along-to-get-along type. Barofsky recalls with evident glee that Warren “just filleted Geithner” at a June 2010 public TARP oversight hearing. “There was no good reason for her to do so as someone who was campaigning for an administration position,” notes Barofsky, now a senior fellow at the New York University Law School and author of the memoir Bailout. “That makes her potentially very powerful and potentially very dangerous.”