Don’t you just love it when these righteous ideologues tell us how bad we are to want a few extra jingles in our pockets and not “spread the wealth around?” Meanwhile our little chieftain managed to come from her humble beginnings and become a millionaire.
In her 2014 autobiography, Warren wrote of the events that precipitated the financial crisis that “everyone seemed to have a story about someone they knew who was getting rich by flipping houses.” She omitted a crucial one.
Before the crash that she blamed on speculators, Senator Elizabeth Warren made a bundle by flipping houses.
Warren bought and sold at least five properties for profit at a different time in her life, before the cratering economy and a political career made her a star.
Nearly two years after Veo Vessels died, her daughter, 70-year-old Mary Frances Hickman, decided to sell the home her mother had left to her. A sprawling brick house in Oklahoma City’s historic Highland Park neighborhood, it was built in 1924, just a year after Mary’s birth.
“It was really, really nice,” says Hickman’s granddaughter, Andrea Martin. That’s part of the reason she’s so surprised her grandmother sold the home in 1993 for a mere $30,000.
The home’s new owner: Elizabeth Warren, today a Massachusetts senator who has built a political career on denouncing the sort of banking titans and financial sophisticates who make a buck off the little guy. Five months after purchasing Veo Vessels’ old home, Warren flipped the property, selling it for $115,000 more than she’d paid, according to Oklahoma County Property Assessor records.
Warren rose to political prominence in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis as a crusader against big banks and a dispenser of common-sense economic advice. She campaigned for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, intended to shield people from the predation of the mortgage and credit-card industries, among others.
In her 2006 book All Your Worth, co-authored with her daughter, Amelia, Warren lists as a top myth the idea that “you can make big money buying houses and flipping them quickly.” She has made a career out of telling people how to behave in financially responsible ways, and out of creating laws that will make it illegal for them to do otherwise.
The Boston Herald reported on these purchases during Warren’s Senate run in 2012, noting that she invested in “the often topsy-turvy real-estate market of the 1990s” and that her actions “don’t seem to square with her public statements about the latest real estate boom and bust.”
Her life story has been the subject of much interest, and her 2014 memoir, A Fighting Chance, chronicled her rise from humble beginnings in small-town Oklahoma and her struggle to make ends meet. It didn’t much mention, though, the early 1990s, years when her children were teenagers and she was once again happily married. These are years when she wasn’t yet the multimillionaire she is today, and, she has said, she was voting Republican.
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