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Elizabeth Warren To Head Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection

One of the creations of the financial reform bill (H.R. 4173 “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act”) was a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB), an organization that is charged with regulating financial products from payday loans to mortgages, credit cards to credit counseling, and a litany of products in between. Here’s an analysis of the actual text of the bill [3] that creates this executive agency.

This week, President Obama announced that he would be calling on Elizabeth Warren [4] to lead the agency.

Here’s the fun part: Warren was named “assistant to the president and special advisor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in charge of launching the new agency and setting its mission.” Had she been named its first director, she would need Senate confirmation, which would’ve been very difficult. Instead, she was named a “special advisor” with a broad set of powers that sound very much like those tasked to an agency’s first director. She’ll be recruiting staff, setting policy, and be the face of the agency.

Despite her prominence in the news lately, I don’t know much about Elizabeth Warren other than that she was tasked to as the chair of the oversight panel that investigated TARP and is seen as a consumer advocate.

I also think it’s a sad sign of the times that we have to employ such trickeration to get a clearly qualified candidate into a position we all need her to be in.

White House Taps Consumer Adviser [5] [Wall Street Journal]