A story in today’s Globe paints a fine picture of how Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown want the Senate race to unfold.
On Sunday, Warren called on Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, to resign from the board of directors of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, after Dimon acknowledged that “we made a terrible, egregious mistake” in dismissing warning signs that preceded the $2 billion loss.
Brown’s campaign held a conference call with reporters … to discuss the controversy surrounding Warren’s claims of Native American heritage.
OK. So Elizabeth Warren wants to talk about banks that are behaving recklessly and the fact that the head of one such bank also sits on the board of the bank’s regulator, namely, the New York Fed. To me, the fact that the head of a big bank sits on the board of an entity that’s supposed to regulate it sounds like a conflict of interest, and sounds like the kind of thing that should be stopped if we want to avoid a replay of 2008. It sounds, in other words, like something that could affect the people of Massachusetts in important ways. Relatedly, Warren has just sent around an email saying:
I’m calling on Congress to put Wall Street reform back on the agenda and to begin by passing a new Glass-Steagall Act. This was the law that stopped investment banks from gambling away people’s life savings for decades — until Wall Street successfully lobbied to have it repealed in 1999…. A new Glass-Steagall would separate high-risk investment banks from more traditional banking. It would allow Wall Street to take risks, but not by dipping into the life savings and retirement accounts of regular people. And by making banks smaller, a new Glass-Steagall could also help put an end to banks that are “too big to fail” — further avoiding costly taxpayer bailouts.
Scott Brown, in contrast, wants to talk about Warren’s Native American heritage. That sounds like … well, it sounds like a waste of time. I cannot imagine any way in which anything about Warren’s heritage could affect the people of this state, or any other.
See, Brown wants this race to be about personalities. He wants people to think that Warren is a bad person, because she’s an elitist, because Hollywood people like her, because of something about her heritage. Whereas he wants people to think he’s a good guy, a jock, a handsome dude with whom you’d like to have a beer. And, because of that, he thinks he should get to be a Senator.
Warren, in contrast, wants the race to be about the stuff that actually affects people’s lives. If the banks crash again, that matters. A lot of people will lose their jobs because of it, just like they did last time. So I’m glad Warren wants to avoid that, and that she has some ideas for how to do it. I’d sure like to hear from Scott Brown what he actually wants to do with a six-year term. Other than the teabagger’s creed that we must “repeal Obamacare” (for reasons that remain obscure), I haven’t heard a damn thing yet.