If you wanted to learn the ins and outs of how current Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) went from a young girl in Oklahoma, to the first in her family to go to college, to single mother, to lawyer, to Harvard professor, to Senator, this book is for you. Plenty of personal anecdotes fill the pages of the book too, offering a reminder that life happens as Warren discusses how the death of her first husband, parents, friends and mentors including former Senator Ted Kennedy, and pets affected her outlook and in many ways inspired her to keep fighting for the average person.
I have admired Senator Warren since learning of her work after her election to the Senate in 2012, but this book went a long way in helping me understand her credentials as a consumer advocate and work prior to 2012. Warren’s research into the reasons why individuals and families go bankrupt shows that “the system is rigged” to benefit banks on the back of entreprenuers, homeowners, students, credit card holders, etc. Her research has shown that its not poor decisions but unexpected life events—illness, divorce, layoffs—that send individuals into a spiral, sometimes leading to bankruptcy, and set off the scenarios for which banks secretly hope. A Fighting Chance explains how banks make money when the people they’ve lent money to fail, and then goes into detail on how Warren used her research to inform her activism, which then led to multiple advisory roles in the federal government. Warren was fundamental in providing information and proposals for what is known as the Dodd-Frank Act, which offers greater protection for consumers, and at the request of President Obama, Warren successfully set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) agency, which serves as a guard dog for financial and banking practices.
The book isn’t all about statistics, though there are plenty of numbers who those interested. Whether it’s the fine print that held large interest rate increases or Wells Fargo knowingly setting up additional accounts without the customer’s consent, Warren’s knowledge and concern has made her the sheriff of banking. For those who believe that Democrats do not care about the economy or the average citizen’s financial stability, I encourage you to read A Fighting Chance and look closer at Warren’s work and consumer advocacy. She is on patrol and ready to reign in dangerous practices that have bankrupted families. Making sure that CitiBank, Wells Fargo, Equifax, and the other financial entities act in ways that are ethical and work for their customers instead of acting in egregious ways that significantly harm customers but bolster the big bank’s bottom line is one of Warren’s strengths, although she has many, making her one of my most admired politicians.
Warren’s book goes into detail some of the tactics that the large banks and her Senate opponent Scott Brown used to discredit her, from questioning her Native American heritage to being portrayed as anti-business and anti-capitalism because she favors an equal playing ground. As Warren runs for reelection in 2018 (and, if I get my wish, runs for the presidency in 2020), I’m sure these issues will be drug up once again, but she will move forward with grace and statistics to back her up because she’s Elizabeth Warren. As readers see in A Fighting Chance and everyday that Warren represents Massachusetts and the United States, she will keep fighting for financial reform and social justice.
Nevertheless, she persisted.