Speaking at Harvard on female regulators of the finance industry, Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave a response to her Wall Street critics: Your critiques won't keep me quiet.
Sitting on a panel Monday with former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chairwoman Sheila Bair and former Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman Mary Schapiro, panel moderator Ron Suskind asked if Warren would be willing to accept Franklin Roosevelt's famous response to Wall Street's criticism of him saying, "I welcome their hatred."
"Sure," Warren said. "I didn't go to Washington to try to help those guys. They already have an army of lobbyists and army of lawyers. I've always known what I was in this fight for."
Warren has been a lightning rod for criticism from the financial industry, with some donors threatening to withhold money from Senate Democrats if senators such as Warren and Sherrod Brown of Ohio didn't soften their rhetoric about them.
In March, Warren responded to the criticism, posting on her website, "They can threaten or bully or say whatever they want, but we aren't going to change our game plan."
During Monday's conference, Warren recalled an encounter, which she mentioned in her recent book, with JPMorgan president and CEO Jamie Dimon in her office. Dimon complained that large banks were being over-regulated, to which Warren retorted that the megabank might be breaking the law.
Warren said Dimon then responded "so fine me. We can afford it," which she said at the conference showed that Dimon didn't intend to make real changes to his company's practices.
Dimon is not the only voice that has been critical of Warren's rhetoric. In March, Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway's CEO and a frequent ally of Democrats, said Warren would "do better if she was less angry and demonized less."
During questions Monday about women in power in America, Warren hinted at hers and others' reputations of being disruptive to the status quo.
"If you bring in people who aren't part of the club, there's going to be disruption," Warren said.
Warren has consistently ruled out a run for president. But when Suskind asked the panel, who had been hailed by TIME as the "New Sheriffs of Wall Street," if they felt Hillary Clinton would be an effective sheriff herself if she were elected president, Warren punted, saying there is a moment to seize the chance to make the Wall Street system safer.
"Hillary Clinton will have a chance," she said.
By contrast, Bair said she was concerned about Clinton's economic advisers' ties and approach to the financial industry.
"They are good people they are fine people, but I think they are very Wall Street-focused," Bair said. "I worry she is going to default to that same team." Bair also highlighted a recent speech that Warren gave on Wall Street and said she hoped Clinton would endorse that approach.
For all of Warren's rattling of Wall Street's cage, she seems perfectly happy not to engender any ruckus with the former secretary of State.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.
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Eric Garcia is a staff correspondent for National Journal. He previously was a transparency reporter for MarketWatch, where he reported on financial regulation issues. His work has also appeared in the Southern Political Report, Salon, the American Prospect and the New Republic. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and covered politics for its campus paper, the Daily Tar Heel.