90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Warren Warns of Gutted Reform

Tom Asbhrook and Elizabeth Warren in Boston, June 7, 2010. (Credit: Josh Lavine for WBUR)

The fate of effective financial reform remains precarious right now, with the possibility that Washington lawmakers could produce a final bill that has “no real impact,” said Elizabeth Warren, chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel.

Warren, a consumer advocate and Harvard Law School professor who was appointed to monitor the Wall Street bailout, said that “herds” of lobbyists are trying to pick apart the pending legislation.

 “…[T]hey’re going to get one line changed, and they’re going to get one little provision dropped, and they’re going to get one more piece compromised out,” Warren said in an interview Monday night with “On Point” host Tom Ashbrook, as part of a WBUR event. “And at the end of the day, we can all congratulate ourselves that we got something that has the right title and has no real impact.”

This week, House and Senate negotiators are coming into conference committee to begin working out a final reform bill.

Warren said the odds are “good” that substantial reform, including the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, could still come out of the Congressional negotiations. But she also warned that the process could prove a “complete waste of time.”  

“If you pick all of the worst parts from the House version and the Senate version, walk out, because it’s not worth it at that point,” she said.

Elizabeth Warren before the Senate Finance Committee in 2009. (AP)

Asked how she was dealing with pressure from Democrats who might want her to “bless” any compromise bill they produce, she said she would call it as she sees it.

“Just once in a while, there have to be independent voices that are really willing to say, ‘I’m sorry, you guys labored hard and you’ve brought forth a mouse. This one doesn’t work.’”

Ashbrook also asked her about the role of prominent women in Washington who are trying to address the financial crisis and its fallout. Time magazine recently featured Warren on its cover as one of three female “Sheriffs of Wall Street,” along with SEC chair Mary Shapiro and FDIC chair Sheila Bair.

“Let’s face it. There’s still no line in the ladies’ room,” Warren said. “My view on this is that…if you’re my age, and you get to where I am, you’re an outsider…You’ve actually either decided you’re going to get tough or die.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Mar 27, 2015
Members of  a November Project 'tribe' pause during a November 2014 workout. (Brogan Graham / Instagram)

Spring training. From easy-access yoga to outdoor exercise meet-ups, exercise plans you’ll want to do.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 26, 2015
A child walks through a forest landscape. (Rudolf Vlček / Flickr)

American kids today spend only four to seven minutes a day playing outdoors. We hear a new call to raise the “wild child.”

 
Mar 26, 2015
In this file photo, protesters sit at the intersection of Wall St. and Broad St. in New York, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. The protesters, many who were affiliated with Occupy Wall Street, were trying to draw attention to the connection between capitalism and environmental destruction. (AP)

In our age of hyper-inequality, historian Steve Fraser asks when the little guy stands up and says “enough.” He’s with us.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

More »
Comment
 
Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

More »
Comment
 
Week In The Web: March 20, 2015
Friday, Mar 20, 2015

The emailed comments question continues to haunt us, we shake off / salute our haters and CNN Politics spends way too much time on FinalCut (in a good way!).

More »
Comment