July 23, 2010
Will Elizabeth Warren Head the CPSB?
Posted by David Zaring

Since I'm the designated person to go after Harvard Law professors assigned to high government positions (I did think, fwiw, that after her opening statement, Elena Kagan did come across as a normal and a smart person), I'd have to say that I'm surprised that the Times and the WSJ and many in the blogosphere are so strongly in support of Elizabeth Warren.  Not that surprised  - Warren makes news and waves, and these people have a vested interest in news and waves - but would you want someone relentlessly critical of the administration's economic policy, who goes to the media at the drop of a hat, in a position where she would be tough to fire?  To say nothing of Megan McArdle's pointed observations about the relationship between evidence and argument in the ouevre? I think she was wrong about whether the administration was misusing the TARP money, too - they're going to get most of it back, except on the piece she supported, which was mortgage mod. 

The only way Washington politicians would hire someone to an economic post who isn't a team player and doesn't support their economic agenda is if they were absolutely forced to do so, which maybe they will be, given that I presume the unions are strongly behind her.  Still, it's not an elected office, it's an appointed one, and the Obama administration must like drama much more than previously understood, because that's what they would be getting with Warren.  She was a great secured transactions teacher - I can personally attest to that - and very, very smart.  By my lights, she probably deserves a job that she invented and fought for.  But I suspect that the people who keep telling us that don't really have the current regime's best interests at heart.

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