Elizabeth Warren on Corporations
FactCheck: Insurers should pay victims, plus future immunity
Brown charged Warren for her work for Travelers Insurance in a case involving asbestos victims. Brown said Warren helped the company deny payment to asbestos poisoning victims. Brown's facts were largely true, but the impression he left was somewhat
misleading. Brown said, "She helped Travelers deny benefits for asbestos poisoning, made over $250,000 in an effort to protect big corporations."
The Globe's conclusion after an extensive examination: Warren was paid $212,000 by Travelers from 2008 to
2010. Warren helped Travelers win a case that gave the company immunity from most asbestos lawsuits, and a $500 million trust fund has not been paid out because of a court order that Travelers won after Warren's work on the case ended.
But at the time,
most asbestos victims were actually on Warren's side of the issue. She was fighting, she says, to unlock the $500 million trust, which Travelers said at the time it was willing to pay out in order to gain immunity and settle all the outstanding claims.
Source: Boston Globe 2012 FactCheck on Mass. Senate Debate
, Sep 21, 2012
People feel like the system is rigged, because it is
People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here's the painful part: they're right. The system is rigged. Look around. Oil companies guzzle down billions in subsidies. Billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Wall Street
CEOs--the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs--still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.
Anyone here have a problem with that? Well I do.
Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech
, Sep 5, 2012
Rebuild the middle class instead of CEO tax breaks
Now is the time to rebuild America's middle class. Instead of giving tax breaks to the already-rich and already-powerful, to the corporations and
CEOs who have already made it, it's time America recognized the working people and small businesses who are still trying to build a future.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, elizabethwarren.com
, Dec 10, 2011
Same rules for trillion-dollar institutions as rest of us
Today, Warren says, one "vision of how America works is that it's an even game, that anybody can get started--just roll those dice; that booms and busts will come and millions of people will lose their homes, millions more will lose their jobs,
and trillions of dollars in savings retirement accounts will be wiped out. The question is, Do we have a different vision of what we can do?
This agency is out here in a sense to try to hold accountable a financial-services industry that ran wild, that brought our economy to the edge of collapse," she said. "There's been such a sense that
there's one set of rules for trillion-dollar financial institutions and a different set for all the rest of us. It's so pervasive that it's not even hidden."
Source: By Suzanna Andrews in Vanity Fair, "Woman Who Knew Too Much"
, Nov 1, 2011
Bankruptcies result from mishaps, not from gaming the system
As a professor at the University of Houston Warren started researching how bankruptcy law was going to be reshaped in a federal legal overhaul that same year.
She set out to prove what the business community was, at that point, incensed about: people gaming the system, irresponsibly running up debts and then discharging them in court.
The reality she found, however, traveling from one courthouse to the next, was altogether different from the one she'd expected, and far more complex: the filings came
overwhelmingly from working people who had suffered mishaps and bad luck--illnesses, deaths of family members and spouses, divorces, and economic downdrafts that often swallowed communities whole.
Source: Confidence Men, by Ron Suskind, p. 78
, Sep 20, 2011
Plenty of people look out for billion dollar corporations
There are plenty of people in Washington looking out for the billion dollar corporations. My life's work has been fighting for middle class families, taking on big banks, and putting forward new ideas.
We need a 21st century manufacturing base and
expanded service capacity. We need a set of workable rules that don't tangle up those trying to create something new. We need to be able to invent things, make things, and sell things to the rest of the world. We did that once, and we can do it again.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, www.elizabethwarren.com
, Sep 15, 2011
Small businesses need a level playing field
A level playing field: Our self-employed and small businesses, and the community banks that fund them, are drowning in complicated regulations. Long, complex rules create loopholes that the big companies can take advantage of, but they
leave little guys out in the cold. We need rules that are written with small businesses in mind. We need straightforward rules that any small business can deal with, like the short and streamlined mortgage form the consumer agency is putting into law.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, www.elizabethwarren.com
, Sep 15, 2011
New regulatory regime to protect financial consumers
Just as the Consumer Product Safety Commission protects buyers of goods and supports a competitive market, we need the same for consumers of financial products--a new regulatory regime,
and even a new regulatory body, to protect consumers who use credit cards, home mortgages, car loans, and a host of other products.
Source: Salon.com, "Wall Street Run Amok", by Conrad Capto
, Oct 25, 2010
Scourge of the banking industry, on behalf of consumers
Obama knew Warren had become the scourge of the baking industry for her efforts on behalf of consumers. When they met at a Cambridge fund-raiser during his 2004 Senate campaign, his first words to her were "Predatory lending!" He had learned of
Warren's work when legislating on behalf of credit card users in the Illinois State Senate.
A crackdown on credit cards was one of the president's early and almost entirely unnoticed victories.
In May he signed sweeping legislation that limited fees, required disclosure of rate hikes before they were imposed, and ended the industry's practice of preying on college student before they were 21.
But Congress erred badly in not making it effective immediately, which meant that Americans saw unconscionably higher interest rates on their credit card until 2010.
Source: The Promise: Obama Year One, by Jonathan Alter, p.196
, May 18, 2010
Apply consumer protection rules to banks
It is impossible to buy a toaster that has a one-in-five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house. But it is possible to refinance an existing home with a mortgage that has the same one-in-five chance of putting the family
out on the street--and the mortgage won't even carry a disclosure of that fact to the homeowner. Similarly, it's impossible to change the price on a toaster once it has been purchased.
But long after the papers have been signed, it is possible to triple the price of the credit used to finance the purchase of that appliance, even if the customer meets all the credit terms, in full and on time.
Why are consumers safe when they purchase tangible consumer products with cash, but when they sign up for routine financial products like mortgages and credit cards they are left at the mercy of their creditors?
Source: Elizabeth Warren in Democracy Journal, "Unsafe at Any Rate"
, Jul 2, 2007
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Page last updated: Dec 22, 2013