COMMENTARY

Senator Warren: It’s Unwise To Nominate Antonio Weiss For Finance Position

Senator Warren, the darling of the progressives and liberals, is at war against the nomination of Antonio Weiss by President Obama for the position of Treasury Department undersecretary for domestic finance.

The senator’s objection is centered on the fact that Obama’s acquisition of Wall Street technocrats like Weiss is tantamount to making the administration an outpost of the one percent.

In a column for the Huffington Post, Warren wrote, “Enough is enough.”

“The over-representation of Wall Street banks in senior government positions sends a bad message.”

Photo Credit: Wikipedia - Elizabeth Warren.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia – Elizabeth Warren.

She also reportedly told a New York Times reporter that, while she had sometimes supported nominees who had worked on Wall Street, “the Antonio Weiss nomination is a mistake, and that’s why I’m fighting back.”

In the meantime, the White House has said that the role is an important policy-making position and Weiss’ years on Wall Street give him “deep expertise in the financial markets” necessary for the role.

However, Warren said Obama “has repeatedly turned to nominees with close Wall Street ties for high-level economic positions,” chief among them Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, formerly of Citibank.

She has also picked up support from Senator Jeanne Shaheen who has said in a statement, “I’m troubled by Mr. Weiss’s work on corporate inversions that place a tax burden on small businesses and middle class families and his lack of domestic regulatory experience and, as a result, I’m not convinced that he is the right person for the job.”

The fact is Weiss has had a stellar career on Wall Street and has earned himself millions of dollars.

In addition, as the global head of investment banking at Lazard, he generated billions of dollars for the company through international mergers and acquisitions.

His success, however, is his own failure from the perspective of Warren and her supporters. Weiss, in his current position would have had oversight of not only thousands of people losing their jobs but also would have set policies that weigh heavily in the favor and interest of Wall Street.

In other words, for some democrat supporters and senators such as Warren, Democrat Dick Durbin and Independent Bernie Sanders, Weiss would be a Republican’s Mitt Romney look-alike or incarnate.

According to one writer, “Weiss is not merely a symbol of the Wall Street revolving door, he’s a symbol of what has happened to the middle class over the past 40 years. The last thing we should do is reward that.”

Given the fact that the congressional session has come to an end, the door is now open for Obama to either reaffirm or nominate someone else, what will he do? Your guess is as good as mine.

Yvad Billings Readers Bureau, Contributor

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