NYT Op-Ed Says Elizabeth Warren Is Just Like Donald Trump

A New York Times piece says Warren is prejudiced against bankers.

Photo via iStock/Kenneth Wiedemann

Photo via iStock/Kenneth Wiedemann

Long before Elizabeth Warren was a professional Donald Trump smack-talker and Wells Fargo grill-master, the senior senator from Massachusetts made her name by being among the fiercest critics of the financial system that brought us the recession. Architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she pushed for consequences for the industry’s most nefarious actors and called for reinstating Glass-Steagall, which would separate commercial and investment banks. She has wide appeal among progressives for doing this—a comic book exists in which a superheroine version of Elizabeth Warren does battle with Wall Street fat cats.

But a financial journalist writing in the New York Times’ op-ed section is not impressed. Roger Lowenstein, an investment group director and author, says what Warren has actually been doing with her status as populist icon is meddling in the affairs of the executive branch, being a misguided pain who imagines her Senate seat is located “in the Oval Office,” and generally engaging in “political grandstanding.”

Lowenstein, director of the Sequoia Fund, goes as far as comparing her approach to that of her election season arch-nemesis: the Donald himself. Emphasis mine:

… Ms. Warren objected to President Obama’s nomination of Antonio Weiss for the job of under secretary [at the Treasury Department] for domestic finance. Mr. Weiss’s ostensible failing was to have been employed at an investment bank, Lazard. Ms. Warren, painting bankers with as broad a brush as Donald J. Trump uses to demean Muslims, protested that the president should ‘loosen the hold that Wall Street banks have over economic policy making.’ That demand ignores the obvious fact that bankers know something about economic policy, and that many of the best financial regulators, from Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. in the 1930s through Arthur Levitt Jr. and Henry M. Paulson Jr. in more recent decades, have come from Wall Street.

Trump, you’ll remember, proposed a ban on allowing Muslims to enter the country. Warren, Lowenstein says, is prejudiced against bankers.

He also calls the outspoken senator an “unelected regulatory czar” and “high-decibel champion of regulation,” and takes issue with her push for the removal of Securities Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White—who, Warren says, should have forced banks to disclose political spending but did not.

“Last time I checked,” Lowenstein writes, “the S.E.C. was a regulatory agency of the executive branch, in which Ms. Warren is not, in fact, employed.”

Warren has become perhaps more worrying for Wall Street than ever this year due to the likelihood she will play a role in shaping the administration of Hillary Clinton should the Democrat become president.