In its November 13 issue, New York magazine published a profile of Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, whose idea for a
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was first published in the Summer 2007 issue of Democracy. The profile, by Jason Zengerle, quotes from “Unsafe at Any Rate,” Warren’s essay introducing the idea.
Throughout the Bush-era housing boom, she saw warning signs of coming financial ruin. “I was a crazy person by the early 2000s,” Warren recalls. “I’m saying, ‘This can’t last, we are building so much risk into the system, family by family by family, it will explode.’” In 2007, she proposed the creation of a “financial-protection safety commission.” “It is impossible to buy a toaster that has a one-in-five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house,” she wrote in the journal Democracy. “But it is possible to refinance an existing home with a mortgage that has the same one-in-five chance of putting the family out on the street—and the mortgage won’t even carry a disclosure of that fact to the homeowner.”
You can read the rest of Zengerle’s profile of Warren here.
You can read Warren’s original essay, “Unsafe at Any Rate,” here.