In a recent New York Times’ Dealbook column (“Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Misplaced Rage at Obama’s Treasury Nominee”), Andrew Ross Sorkin takes issue with an article penned by Senator Elizabeth Warren for the Huffington Post. In her HuffPo commentary Warren spells out her objections to President Obama’s pick for the US Treasury Department’s Undersecretary for Domestic Finance.
In his rebuttal piece in the Times, Sorkin writes, “It is true that Mr. Weiss doesn't have a lot of experience in the regulatory arena, and at least part of the role he is nominated for involves carrying out the remaining parts of the Dodd/Frank overhaul law. It is also true that Mr. Weiss, if confirmed, will be the beneficiary of a policy at Lazard that vests his unvested shares–some $20 million in stock and deferred compensation–by taking a government job. That creates its own conflicts.
Ms. Warren might be more persuasive if she focused on those issues.”
In stating “those issues” (plural), it’s pretty clear that Sorkin is referring to the conflict of interest represented by his investments as well as the fact that he never worked in the regulatory field.
While Warren’s piece in the Huffington Post never touches on Weiss’ deferred stock compensation, she does take issue with the nominee’s lack of relevant experience. In fact, as Peter Hart notes in his latest report published on the Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting website, she raised it as the “first issue” in her analysis. Warren wrote, “That raises the first issue. Weiss has spent most of his career working on international transactions–from 2001 to 2009 he lived and worked in Paris–and now he's being asked to run domestic finance at Treasury. Neither his background nor his professional experience makes him qualified to oversee consumer protection and domestic regulatory functions at the Treasury.”
Rather than Senator Warren misplacing her rage, it would seem that Mr. Sorkin has misplaced the facts here and that is something to rage about.