In July, the federal government passed a sweeping new law to reform the financial industry. One of the biggest and most hotly contested aspect of this new law is the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. President Obama has tapped Elizabeth Warren to oversee the development of this new agency. The new director won’t be announced until 2011, but I would imagine she is at the top of the list.
Elizabeth Warren is a professor at Harvard Law School and was the chair of the congressional oversight panel investigating the financial bailout (TARP). She is known for standing up for consumers and not backing down when pressed by the banking industry.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will help consumers make better decisions when dealing with financial product choices. It is destined to be one of the biggest regulatory bodies, leaving the government involved in the financial industry for a long time.
Last week, Elizabeth Warren provided some details about her plans for creating the agency. The primary focus will be credit cards and mortgages, two of the most potentially damaging financial products to a consumer. The fine print, hidden or confusing fees, and in some cases non-standardized terms, make these products difficult to navigate and compare.
Plans for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau might change. Republicans have not been a fan of this type of industry regulation, and with the party’s newly granted majority in the House, there might be some changes ahead.
What should the role of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau be, if it should exist at all?
Updated July 25, 2011 and originally published November 15, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.