Commenter charlie1939 doesn’t agree with my skepticism, posted on Monday, regarding the depth of Elizabeth Warren’s understanding of the banking business:
Your condescending commentary on Sen. Warren’s knowledge or lack of knowledge is a silly exercise of no value.
If you wanted to make a useful and insightful commentary, you could have addressed SPECIFICALLY WHERE she is lacking knowledge of the banking system and what that impact could be.
Personally, I feel she knows enough to know that the big banks are too big, that the leaders of the big banks are able to rely on goverment handouts if they screw up, that they can continue to draw ridiculous compensation for mediocre performance and that they will never suffer any real consequences for their corporate, financial and ethical misdeeds.
Wait. I thought I did address SPECIFICALLY WHERE Warren’s understanding of the banking business might be suspect. In particular, I said I thought she doesn’t understand the finer points of bank accounting. There is no dishonor in that. Bank accounting can be incredibly convoluted. I just don’t see why Sen. Warren feels she needs to insist that “I fully understand the system and I understand how [banks] make their money,” when after a moment’s reflection, one realizes that that can’t possibly be the case. Nor does her less-than-encyclopedic understanding of banking necessarily make her criticisms of banks invalid. I even happen to agree with some of them, believe it or not.
Charlie1939’s pushback is a good example, I think, of the knee-jerk mentality that guides the thinking of too many big-bank critics. To them, big banks are always bad—even though the best-run big banks came through the credit crunch scarcely missing a beat. Bank executives never face the consequences of their bad decisions—even though the CEOs of the biggest crackups lost their jobs in a hurry and endured significant financial losses. Bank executives are all overpaid. Really? Tell that to Warren Buffett. Reasonable people can differ on issues like this, of course. Unfortunately, too many bank critics prefer instead to lap up Sen. Warren’s anti-bank line without thinking too much about it, and then reflexively defend whatever nonsense she comes up with to say.
As to my comments being condescending, I plead guilty.
What do you think? Let me know!