Today, President Obama announced the appointment of Elizabeth Warren, currently Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard University and Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, as Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB).
The CFPB was created in July 2010 by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act . Ms. Warren will not be the CFPB’s official director. Instead, President Obama chose to appoint Ms. Warren as a special assistant to the president, a role which will permit her to oversee the establishment of the CFPB, recruit its staff and initiate policies for regulating mortgages, student loans and other consumer credit products, without having to be confirmed by the Senate. It is expected that Ms. Warren will have a voice in picking the first director of the CFPB. Ms. Warren will also serve as Special Advisor to the Secretary of Treasury Timothy F. Geithner. Separately, after consulting with the heads of the affected agencies and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Treasury has set July 21, 2011 as the date for the transfer of functions from existing agencies to the CFPB (referred to as the "designated transfer date" in the Dodd-Frank Act).
“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will crack down on the abusive practices of unscrupulous mortgage lenders, reinforce the new credit card law we passed banning unfair rate hikes, and ensure that folks aren’t unwittingly caught by overdraft fees when they sign up for a checking account. I am very grateful that Elizabeth has agreed to serve in this important role of getting the Consumer Financial Bureau up and running and making it as effective as possible,” said President Obama.
“Professor Warren has been a pioneer on the issues before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and she will now help lead the effort to stand up the agency,” said Secretary of Treasury Geithner.
Ms. Warren, in a blog posted on the White House Web site, said, “The new law creates a chance to put a tough cop on the beat and provide real accountability and oversight of the consumer credit market. The time for hiding tricks and traps in the fine print is over.”