Elizabeth Warren, the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee TARP bailout funds, made the case for financial reform and the creation of a consumer financial protection agency during an appearance Wednesday on The Rachel Maddow Show.
The Harvard law professor pushed back against claims by Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), that an independent consumer financial protection agency would be a bad thing for consumers.
Warren argued that if a consumer agency aimed at regulating financial products (like the one passed by the House) had existed five years ago, the financial crisis would have largely been averted:
"It would have prevented a huge part of this crisis.... This crisis started one household at a time. One lousy mortgage that got sold. One family at a time. And then bundled and rebundled and sliced and diced and put into the stream of commerce. And the importance of remembering that is this agency isn't just about protecting families, although, I think that would be reason enough for it. It's ultimately about protecting the whole economy. When we destabilize American families. When we sell them terrible products that explode in their faces. That in turn destabilizes the entire economy. These products that were gonna offer these huge, huge profits weren't just lousy deals for consumers. They were lousy deals for investors. They were lousy deals for pension funds. They were lousy deals for the worldwide economy."