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Wed Sep 30, 2015, 07:31 AM

How Elizabeth Warren picked a fight with Brookings — and won

How Elizabeth Warren picked a fight with Brookings — and won

The hero of the country’s liberal movement launched a surprise attack Tuesday against Washington’s most revered Democratic-leaning think tanks — and drew blood.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, stepping up her crusade against the power of wealthy interests, accused a Brookings Institution scholar of writing a research paper to benefit his corporate patrons.

....Warren leveled her criticisms in letters sent Tuesday to Brookings leaders and the Obama administration, citing the $85,000 combined fee that Litan and a co-author received from the investment firm.

...Litan rejected Warren’s criticism, saying that the company that sponsored his research, the Capital Group, a leading mutual fund manager, had no influence over his findings. But Litan, an unpaid “resident scholar,” acknowledged that he had violated a new think tank rule prohibiting researchers with such status from citing their Brookings affiliation when testifying before Congress.

....Warren’s charge prompted a swift response, with Brookings seeking and receiving the resignation of the economist, Robert Litan, whose report criticized a Warren-backed consumer protection rule targeting the financial services industry.....

....Tom Joyce, a spokesman for the Capital Group, said his company was following standard practice. “It is typical for organizations to sponsor academic studies,” Joyce said, noting that in this case, “no preconditions or predetermined conclusions were imposed.”

The proposed rule, written by the Labor Department, would prohibit retirement plan brokers from receiving enticements from big investment houses that can distract them from the best interests of consumers.

Litan concluded that the rule, while well-intentioned, would be too costly.

“Some advisers and brokers recommend investments based on the free vacations, cars, bonuses, fees and other kickbacks that the adviser can earn from selling a lousy product,” Warren wrote.


Litan is a former Bill Clinton Administration Official and has been a Brookings "scholar" for some 40 years.

Now he's just fired.

Thank you Elizabeth Warren!! Cleaning up DC one crooked crony at a time!!

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Reply How Elizabeth Warren picked a fight with Brookings — and won (Original post)
RiverLover Sep 2015 OP
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Sep 2015 #1
RiverLover Sep 2015 #2

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 07:44 AM

1. Hah! Now I know what those commercials are about.

There have been a rash of commercials lately with people talking about how we need to call Congress to stop them from making it harder for them to get 'advice' from their financial advisors on how to manage 401k's or other investments. I figured it was some scam opposing some good change, and this shows what it is. Financial advisors not wanting to lose all of the freebies they're given to push crap.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 07:53 AM

2. Oh that's funny! I haven't seen those (I rarely see a commercial).

Such a scam, on so many levels.

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