Harvard Professor Warren nominated to set up new watchdog for consumers

US President Obama announced on Friday, 17th of September 2010, that he nominated US Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren to oversee the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by mid-2011, until a director is named.

In a press conference President Obama summarized the task of the new Bureau with the words: “Never again will folks be confused or misled by the pages of barely understandable fine print that you find in agreements for credit cards or mortgages or student loans.“ He explains his nomination of Warren with the fact that long before this crisis hit, she had written eloquently, passionately, forcefully, about the growing financial pressures on working families and the need to put in place stronger consumer protections. 

The US consumer organization, Consumers Union, welcomes her nomination. „Elizabeth Warren is a true champion for consumers. She would give the new bureau the focus and foundation it needs to succeed. People need a real financial watchdog in Washington to look out for their interests, and she's an ideal choice.“

It is expected that the Bureau will have a budget of up to $500 million and hundreds of employees, many of them drawn from the agencies that will give up responsibilities for consumer protection. The bureau will nominally be part of the Fed, which is obligated to finance its budget, but its personnel and rule-making decisions are to be made independent of the central bank.


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Sources: White House, Consumers Union and New York Times