Lee Heidhues 3.28.2023
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) just announced she is running for reelection in 2024.
The Senator is one of the few people in Congress who relentlessly goes after the Federal Reserve Board and its chairman Jerome Powell. Her continued presence in the Senate is crucial. The American working public needs an intelligent advocate who will look after the interests of The People and is not intimidated by bankers, financiers, hedge fund managers and Wall Street.
The video is illustrative of how the Senator deals with the Federal Reserve. Take note this exchange occurred shortly before the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
Excerpted from The Nation 3.21.2023 John Nichols
The fallout from the collapse of California’s Silicon Valley Bank continues to rock financial and political circles. There is plenty of finger-pointing and blame-laying going on. But Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren reminds us that a lot more attention needs to be paid to the role that Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell played in the collapse that continues to shake confidence in the banking system.
Warren has been the loudest critic, and since the SVB collapse, she has made it particularly clear that she thinks Powell should step down. “Look,” she said Sunday. “I don’t think he should be chairman of the Federal Reserve.”
Warren has also asked that Powell recuse himself from internal probes by the Fed into the Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, writing in a March 18 letter to the inspectors general and the Fed board, “It is also critical that your investigation be completely independent and free of influence from the bank executives or regulators that were responsible for action that led to these bank failures.
I am particularly concerned that you avoid any interference from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who bears direct responsibility for—and has a long record of failure involving—regulatory and supervisory matters involving these two banks.”
But Warren has been the loudest critic, and since the SVB collapse, she has made it particularly clear that she thinks Powell should step down. “Look,” she said Sunday. “I don’t think he should be chairman of the Federal Reserve.”
Warren is right: Powell should go. Unfortunately, he’s unlikely to step down and equally unlikely to be removed. His term as chair is not due to end until 2026, and his term as a Federal Reserve Board member is set to last until January 31, 2028. But his tenure can and should face more serious scrutiny.
In a blistering letter to Powell last week, Warren put things in perspective, arguing with regard to the second-largest bank failure in US history:
Warren’s complaints come as news reports suggest that the Fed knew of problems at SVB and other banks, with The New York Times explaining, “Silicon Valley Bank’s risky practices were on the Federal Reserve’s radar for more than a year—an awareness that proved insufficient to stop the bank’s demise.”