Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the presidential race on March 5, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Warren is campaigning on the promise she will push sweeping changes that address economic inequality and root out corruption. The former Harvard law professor was a prominent voice for stricter oversight following the 2008 financial crisis before being elected to the US Senate in 2012.
University of Houston B.S., 1970; Rutgers University, J.D., 1976
June 22, 1949
Bruce Mann; divorced from Jim Warren
Amelia, Alexander (with Jim Warren)
Professor, Harvard Law School, 1995-2012; Visiting professor, Harvard Law School, 1992-1993; Law professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1987-1995; Professor of law, University of Texas Law School in Austin, 1983-1987; Assistant and later associate professor at the University of Houston Law Center, 1978-1983; Law lecturer at Rutgers School of Law, 1977-1978; Speech pathologist at a New Jersey elementary school, early 1970s
WARREN IN THE NEWS
Hedge fund meltdown: Elizabeth Warren suggests regulators should've seen it coming
Updated 4:22 PM ET, Tue Mar 30, 2021
Senator Elizabeth Warren is calling out regulators after little-known hedge fund Archegos Capital Management was able to borrow so much money that its implosion last week sent shockwaves across Wall Street. "Regulators need to rely on more than luck to fend off risks to the financial system," Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said in a statement to CNN Business. "We need transparency and strong oversight to ensure that the next hedge fund blowup doesn't take the economy down with it." The stocks of ViacomCBS and other media companies crashed late last week after Wall Street banks that lent to Archegos forced the firm to unwind its risky bets in a massive fire sale. Archegos was bankrolled by some of the biggest banks in the world, including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo. Some of those banks are now facing sizable losses of their own from their ties to Archegos, which reportedly used derivatives to mask the size of its large investment positions. The collapse of Archegos serves as yet another reminder of the dangers of extreme leverage and raises questions about how this firm was able to amass such risky positions, especially given its founder's checkered past. "Archegos' meltdown had all the makings of a dangerous situation -— [a] largely unregulated hedge fund, opaque derivatives, trading in private dark pools, high leverage and a trader who wriggled out of the SEC's enforcement," Warren said in the statement. In other words, regulators should have seen this coming. Insider trading red flags Archegos was founded by Bill Hwang, best known for an insider trading scandal at former hedge fund Tiger Asia Management. In 2012 Hwang pleaded guilty to wire fraud on behalf of his firm, which was sentenced to a year of probation and forced to forfeit $16 million. That same year, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Hwang, Tiger Asia Management and Tiger Asia Partners with making nearly $17 million in illegal profits in a scheme involving Chinese bank stocks. He and his firms agreed to pay $44 million to settle those charges. Goldman Sachs stopped doing business with Hwang for a period of time after that, a person familiar with the matter told CNN Business. However, Goldman Sachs later resumed a relationship with Hwang, serving as one of his firm's lenders. In a statement on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Archegos said this is a "challenging time" for the firm, its partners and employees. "All plans are being discussed as Mr. Hwang and the team determine the best path forward," the spokesperson said. Regulators are probing what went wrong in this high-profile meltdown. In a statement on Monday, a spokesperson for the SEC said the agency has been "monitoring the situation and communicating with market participants since last week." Big banks count their losses Meanwhile, the toll from the Archegos collapse continues to mount. Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (MBFJF) said in a statement Tuesday that it was expecting a loss of about $300 million "in relation to a US client." It did not name the client and a spokesperson declined to elaborate. Wells Fargo, another prime broker to Archegos, said the bank did not experience losses after closing out its exposure to the firm. The statement came after Wells Fargo shares dropped 3% Monday on concerns about the damage. Japan's Nomura said Monday that its losses could be as much as $2 billion, attributing the hit to "transactions with a US client." Asked for further detail, the company declined to comment to CNN Business. Credit Suisse warned of a "significant" hit to earnings after a client defaulted on margin calls. A person familiar with the matter told CNN Business that the client was Archegos. Regulatory loophole? How was Archegos able to keep such a low profile for so long, despite its large presence in major stocks and ties to leading banks? The answer may lie in the firm's structure. Archegos operates as a family office, a private firm that exists to increase the wealth of high-net worth individuals. Unlike hedge funds, Archegos is not allowed to manage outside money. The family office space is huge, with at least 10,000 single-family offices around the world, firms that manage more than private equity and venture capital combined, according to Ernst & Young. Despite their influence, family offices face little oversight from regulators. That's because while the 2010 Dodd-Frank law called for tighter regulation of hedge funds, it gave family offices a special carve-out. Family offices are not required to file regular reports with the SEC detailing their vast positions and activities. While the SEC pages of hedge funds like Soros Capital Management and Bill Ackman's Pershing Square include quarterly reports on their portfolios, Archegos' page with the SEC, says little, except for a notice: "Archegos Capital Management, LP has not filed any forms with the SEC apart from initial company registration."
A backer of the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Warren has set out one of the most detailed proposals for making it happen. In June 2019, she introduced a suite of industrial proposals with names like the “Green Apollo Program” and “Green Marshall Plan.” Her Green Industrial Mobilization is the most ambitious – and expensive, with a $1.5 trillion price tag over 10 years – for spending on “American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy products for federal, state, and local use, and for export.” The “Green Apollo” plan would invest in scientific innovation and the “Green Marshall Plan” would facilitate the sales of new green technologies to foreign markets. In September 2019, Warren announced she would adopt the climate change proposals championed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who bowed out of his climate change-focused candidacy in August 2019. That includes a 10-year plan for moving to 100% clean energy and emissions-free vehicles, as well as zero-carbon pollution from all new commercial and residential buildings by 2028. Warren says achieving those goals would take another $1 trillion in investment on top of her existing proposals, which she says would be covered by reversing the 2017 Republican tax cuts. Warren said in October 2019 that, if elected president, she would mandate all federal agencies to consider climate impacts in their permitting and rulemaking processes. When tribal nations are involved, Warren wrote in a Medium post, projects would not proceed unless “developers have obtained the free, prior and informed consent of the tribal governments concerned.” She said a Warren administration would aggressively pursue cases of environmental discrimination, and would fully fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s environmental health programs. Warren told The Washington Post she would recommit the US to the Paris climate accord, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon. More on Warren’s climate crisis policy
Warren says she’s a capitalist but wants regulation. “I believe in markets,” she said in a March 2019 CNN town hall, following up with a focus on rules and regulation. “Market without rules is theft.” The senator has released a tax plan that would impose a 2% tax on households with net worths of more than $50 million and an additional 1% levy on wealth above $1 billion. This tax would cover, according to Warren, a universal child care program she announced in February 2019. Warren has staked out her claim as an opposition leader against what she sees as big business overreach. Also in February 2019, she criticized Amazon for “walk[ing] away from billions in taxpayer bribes, all because some elected officials in New York aren’t sucking up to them enough. How long will we allow giant corporations to hold our democracy hostage?” She was opposed to the recent deregulation efforts around banks. Warren is calling for the breakup of companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon and advocated legislation that would make Amazon Marketplace and Google search into utilities. In July 2019, Warren released a plan aimed at Wall Street and private equity that would reinstate a modern Glass-Steagall Act, which would wall off commercial banks from investment banks, place new restrictions on the private equity industry and propose legislative action to more closely tie bank executives’ pay to their companies’ performance. She also released a set of trade policy changes that would seek to defend American jobs by negotiating to raise global labor and environmental standards. The senator wrote that she would not strike any trade deals unless partner countries meet a series of ambitious preconditions regarding human rights, religious freedom, and labor and environmental practices, among other issues. She said she would renegotiate existing trade agreements to ensure other countries meet the higher standards, and she pledged to push for a new “non-sustainable economy” designation to give her the ability to penalize countries with poor labor and environmental practices. Warren said in October 2019 that she would extend labor rights to all workers, protect pensions and strengthen workers’ rights to organize, bargain collectively and strike. More on Warren’s economic policy
Warren has released a plan to forgive up to $50,000 in student debt for tens of millions of Americans. The amount of relief would be tied to income, with those households making $250,000 or more shut out of the program. Households earning less than $250,000 would be eligible for relief on a sliding scale, with those reporting less than $100,000 a year eligible for the maximum. Warren unveiled the proposal as part of a larger program that would supercharge federal spending on higher education, including eliminating tuition and fees for college students at two- and four-year public institutions. It would also ask states to pay a share of the costs. Warren would expand grants for low-income and minority students to help with costs like housing, food, books and child care. Her campaign has priced the plan at $1.25 trillion over 10 years and says it would be paid for by her wealth tax. The plan would also establish a $50 billion fund for historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions. More on Warren’s education policy
During the first Democratic debate, Warren called gun violence “a national health emergency” that should be treated like a “virus that’s killing our children” – and called for robust new restrictions and new investment in research. “We can do the universal background checks, we can ban the weapons of war,” Warren added, “but we can also double down on the research and find out what really works.” Though her campaign has not yet released a gun control plan, Warren has been active on the issue as a senator. In February 2018, less than two weeks after the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, she sent letters to nine major gun company shareholders, asking that they use their influence to pressure the industry to take steps to reduce gun violence. She supports bans on so-called assault weapons and legislation prohibiting high-capacity magazines, and has voted to expand background checks for gun buyers.
Warren has endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” bill, which would create a national government-run health care program and essentially eliminate the private insurance industry. In a plan released in November 2019, Warren said she would implement Medicare for All in two phases that would be complete by the end of her first term. Warren proposed a plan in April 2019 to drive down the maternal mortality rate among African American women. Warren has also co-sponsored legislation in the Senate aimed at lowering the price of prescription drugs that includes allowing the federal government to manufacture generic medications if their prices spike. More on Warren’s health care policy
Warren unveiled a plan in July 2019 to overhaul the nation’s immigration system, pledging to reverse a series of Trump administration policies and authorize her Justice Department to review allegations of abuse against detained migrants. The proposal would decriminalize crossing the border into the United States without authorization, a step first championed by former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, and separate law enforcement from immigration enforcement. If elected, Warren said, she would first seek to pursue her agenda through legislation, but “move forward with executive action if Congress refuses to act.” Warren also said she supports legislation that would provide a path to legal status and citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Her plan would end privately contracted detention facilities and she promises that she would “issue guidance ensuring that detention is only used where it is actually necessary because an individual poses a flight or safety risk.” Warren backs expanding legal immigration, raising the refugee cap and making “it easier for those eligible for citizenship to naturalize.” She would reduce “the family reunification backlog” and provide “a fair and achievable pathway to citizenship.” More on Warren’s immigration policy
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A year before the Indianapolis FedEx mass shooting, the gunman browsed white supremacist websites, police say
Updated 4:01 AM ET, Tue Apr 20, 2021
The gunman in an Indianapolis shooting that left eight people dead at a FedEx facility browsed white supremacist websites a little over a year before the attack, police said. In March 2020, the mother of gunman Brandon Hole contacted police because she was worried about his behavior after he purchased a gun, according to recently released details from Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD). She told police he told her "he was going to point a recently purchased shotgun at police officers so they would shoot him." And when police went to their home, they observed he had visited white supremacist websites, the report said. Investigators are still trying to determine the motive behind the shooting. In an attack that lasted only a matter of minutes, Hole opened fired at the facility near Indianapolis' main airport before taking his own life Thursday night. Of the eight people killed in the violence, four were members of the area's Sikh community, Maninder Singh Walia, a member of the Sikh community in Indianapolis, told CNN on Friday. The attack marks at least the 50th mass shooting -- defined as four or more casualties excluding the shooter -- since the Atlanta-area spa shootings March 16. It was the US's deadliest shooting since 10 people were killed March 22 at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. The case has also raised concerns over access to guns, as Hole had his gun seized in the 2020 incident. After his mother told officers on March 3 that she feared for her safety after her son purchased a gun a day earlier, the IMPD detained Hole, seized the gun, put him on an immediate mental health temporary hold and then transported him to a local hospital for evaluation, the police report said. As Hole was being placed in handcuffs, he became anxious and said, "Please just turn the power strip off on my computer" and "I don't want anyone to see what's on it," according to the report. One officer, who was described as clearing the upstairs and securing the shotgun, "observed what through his training and experience" were white supremacist websites, the report said. Limitations of red flag laws Despite the temporary mental health hold in March, Hole was able to legally purchase assault rifles in July and September 2020, Indianapolis police said. The case "illustrates the limitations" of state law, The Marion County, Indiana, Prosecutor Ryan Mears said Monday. Mears said the state's Jake Laird Red Flag gun law allows police to seize and hold firearms from individuals undergoing mental health issues, but the state only has 14 days to file a petition requesting a person be designated as having a violent propensity or mental instability. Because the shotgun taken from Hole's home had been secured and the family didn't want it back, prosecutors felt they "achieved" the objective of the law, Mears said. If the state had filed a petition, the court might have determined prosecutors didn't have legal authority to keep the weapon. "In this particular case, the petition was not filed because the family in this particular case had agreed to forfeit the firearm that was in question and they were not going to pursue the return of that firearm," Mears said. Mears said the state didn't have access "to anything to indicate that (Hole) had had a history or documented diagnosis of mental illness." "We have 14 days under the statute and because we have 14 days our ability to have access to meaningful medical history, meaningful mental health records, is severely limited." Indiana law allows a person 30 days to respond to a subpoena, Mears said. "The sad reality is that during the pendency of these matters there's nothing prohibiting someone from purchasing a firearm, that's just the sad truth," Mears said. 8 killed and 4 people still hospitalized On Friday night, Indianapolis police released the names of the eight deceased victims. They were Matthew R. Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Amarjeet Johal, 66; Jasvinder Kaur, 50; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Amarjit Sekhon, 48; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74. Four individuals remained hospitalized Monday with injuries sustained in the attack, FedEx said. While the shooter's motive isn't yet known, "he targeted a facility known to be heavily populated by Sikh employees, and the attack is traumatic for our community as we continue to face senseless violence," said Satjeet Kaur, executive director of the Sikh Coalition. That sentiment was echoed in a letter to the Biden administration Saturday, in which the Sikh Coalition wrote, "It was no accident that the shooter targeted this particular FedEx facility where he had worked and knew was overwhelmingly staffed by Sikhs." Two of the victims, Sekhon and Kaur, were relatively new to Indianapolis and were working the overnight shift at the FedEx facility when they were killed, said Rimpi Girn, an Indianapolis resident who knew them. Sekhon, after immigrating to the US in 2004, moved to Indiana in 2019 from Ohio to be closer to family and relatives, said Girn, a close family friend. Sekhon leaves a husband and two sons, ages 13 and 19, Girn said. Kaur, who immigrated to the US in 2018, was the breadwinner for her family, according to Girn. Sekhon drove Kaur to work because Kaur didn't have a driver's license, Girn said. As of late Sunday night, a verified GoFundMe campaign for the families of the victims set up by the National Compassion Fund has raised more than $1 million, with FedEx donating $1 million. The fund said 100% of the donations "will go to the families and those affected by the tragedy."