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November 20, 2009

American Academia, Bastion of Disinterested Inquiry

Elizabeth Warren seems pretty great, doesn't she? Given the financial industry came very close to creating another Great Depression, we could really use someone in a position of power whose main concern is the well-being of the middle class.

OR COULD WE?!? Here's some guy named Thomas Cooley to explain why we're so wrong:

She suggested a Financial Product Safety Commission in a 2007 article in the magazine Democracy. President Barack Obama proposed it to Congress in June as the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

Warren won’t discuss whether she may be a candidate to lead the authority, which would have the power to regulate $13.7 trillion of debt products. A Warren nomination would tell banks that Obama is determined to force reduced checking-account fees and limit lender claims in mortgage advertising, among other measures the industry opposes, said Thomas Cooley, dean of New York University’s Stern School of Business.

“She is an ideological crusader,” Cooley said in an interview. "She is a person who will stir up a lot of trouble.” In a column in Forbes magazine, Cooley accused her of "waging a self-righteous holy war."

Thomas Cooley...where have I heard that name before? Oh yeah:

NYU Stern announced today that alumnus John Paulson (BS ’78), founder and chairman of hedge fund Paulson & Co., Inc., has given a gift of $20 million to NYU Stern. John Paulson’s gift will endow two faculty chairs – the Alan Greenspan Chair in Economics and the John A. Paulson Professor of Finance and Alternative Investments...

"We are extremely grateful for John’s support,” said Thomas F. Cooley, dean of NYU Stern. “His generous gift will not only further strengthen Stern’s research will also help us provide our students with a modernized learning environment..."

Mr. Paulson is a leading financier and founder of New York-based Paulson & Co., one of the largest alternative asset managers in the world.

John Paulson (no relation to Hank) famously made $4 billion dollars for himself (and $20 billion for his hedge fund) betting against the mortgage market, Lehman Brothers, etc. (He also hired Alan Greenspan as a consultant in early 2008, so presumably Greenspan has personally made a lot of money off the financial panic.)

Anyway, when you've made $4 billion thanks to lack of regulation, I'm sure it's worth spending 0.5% of that to buy a yappy little poodle to whizz all over the shoes of anyone who advocates regulation.

(For an example of another particularly well-behaved New York City poodle, see here.)

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at November 20, 2009 12:43 AM

Elizabeth Warren might be even better than Dean Baker. It's too bad they didn't have a child together (as far as I know), because that child would probably be the messiah and lo, she would hold up her arms high into the sky in praise of the middle class, and a giant golden ram with the head of an ordinary debtor would appear above Wall Street shooting glames of gold from its eyes while prominently displaying the bloody head of a banker and a huge green credit card with zero balance and no fine print, and terror would fill the streets, causing traffic jams all the way to the ends of the earth, or at least midtown, and the subway would stop running, and The Lord would proclaim it good.

Posted by: N E at November 20, 2009 08:03 AM

Damn, I think you touched a nerve!

Posted by: Joe Wilson at November 20, 2009 10:51 AM

Hurry for the yappy little poodle industry - just in time for the Holiday season.

And when we don't have the Organized Chaos of the Yappy Lil poodles, then we have the Right Wing Looney Tunes.

So much Organized Chaos, so little time.

Posted by: Elise Mattu at November 20, 2009 11:03 PM

N E, thoroughly brilliant. I might prefer to see said debtor-headed ram holding a brace of bloody banker heads, in the manner of images of Pharaoh smiting his enemies, but in any event I delight in the image of a terrorized financial district.

Posted by: Phillip Allen at November 21, 2009 09:19 AM