Elizabeth Warren confident after investor meetings

By Dow Jones Newswires
Posted Nov. 10, 2010 at 3:29 p.m.

White House adviser Elizabeth Warren said her meetings with investors and bank executives are going well, helping to give the financial industry a better sense of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s direction and priorities.

“I have really been on the road,” Warren told CNBC, noting that she’s been traveling the country meeting with community bankers, consumer advocates, chief executives of the largest financial firms and buy-side investors. Warren said she has discussed the agency’s approach to regulation and outlined its likely first steps “to make it really clear where we’re headed.”

With that, no one should be mistaken about the direction the consumer bureau is going, she said.

“These have been really good conversations,” Warren added.

Warren, whom President Barack Obama tapped in September to launch the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, also said the agency will focus on helping smaller banks thrive by focusing on regulations that should level the playing field between big banks and smaller, community banks.

In addition, she said the agency, which has been a target of conservative Republicans seeking to scale back some of the bureau’s wide powers over credit cards and mortgages, is not a partisan agency.

It will focus on making sure consumers have the price of financial products up front and aren’t hit with hidden fees and traps. Making the financial markets work better for the consumer is neither a Republican or Democratic thing, she said.

The financial overhaul enacted earlier this year created the consumer bureau as the nation’s first agency solely charged with protecting consumers from abusive financial products. It is still unclear who will be named director of the agency. Meanwhile, Warren will be working to get the bureau off the ground.

Warren has been busy with media interviews this week and also wrote an opinion piece in Politico, in which she suggested that the new consumer protection bureau can take concrete steps to help community banks.

Earlier this week, on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Warren said she’s surprised that some critics of the nation’s new consumer protection bureau are already trying to dismantle it before it’s fully operating.

“I have to say I’m really surprised by this move,” Warren said Monday night.

She said it took 50 years before anyone started seriously chipping away at the reforms put in place after the Great Depression.

“Now, here we’re coming out of — we hope coming out of another great recession — we’ve passed serious reform, and it’s just a matter of months until people are talking about how to undercut this new consumer financial protection agency,” she said.

Read more about the topics in this post: , , ,

Comments are closed.