Elizabeth Warren, Neel Kashkari Clash over Wall Street Bailouts

Elizabeth Warren, Neel Kashkari Clash over Wall Street Bailouts

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has fashioned herself as the next hope of the liberal grassroots, argues in her new memoir, A Fighting Chance, that California gubernatorial hopeful Neel Kashkari lied to her during his tenure at the U.S. Treasury, where he helped run the Wall Street bailout program known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Kashkari’s campaign fired back with furious denials, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Warren, who was in charge of oversight of TARP at the time, claims that Kashkari assured her in a November 2008 meeting that the bailouts of major banks were over, and that further payments would target small banks. Within 48 hours, she recalls, news broke of additional bailout funds for large banks: “They sent us out of the room knowing we believed that the big bailouts were over and knowing exactly how wrong that belief was.”

Warren, who said she was “stunned” and “furious,” also notes that Kashkari disputed the term “bailout.” 

An advisor to the Kashkari campaign, Aaron McLear, said Warren had her facts wrong: “It’s awfully convenient she’s remembering these things when she’s running for reelection and selling a book,” he told the Times. Sen. Warren’s term only expires in 2018, though she is thought to be preparing a potential presidential campaign.

Warren’s book has been positively received by the mainstream media, which largely identifies with her politics, though even a sympathetic reviewer at the Washington Post noted that Warren resorts to “caricature” when describing banks, which she casts as “the root of all evil.” 

Separately, Warren’s book has come under fire for repeating false claims that she has Native American ancestry, though she can prove no membership in any tribe.