In July 2011, I published my interview of Elizabeth Warren, entitled Opening a Dialogue: Elizabeth Warren and the Mortgage Industry.*
I have been told that this interview is one of the last published interviews of Mrs. Warren prior to President Barack Obama's announcement of the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on July 18, 2011. Until that point, Mrs. Warren was acting in the capacity of the interim director of the CFPB.
In August 2011, Mrs. Warren began to receive substantial political support from many political organizations and private citizens, and on September 14, 2011 she announced her campaign as a candidate for Senator of Massachusetts.
Mrs. Warren is known to be a fierce consumer advocate and is considered by many to be the primary visionary behind the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB - these days known more and more colloquially as the "Bureau" - was established by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and signed into law by President Obama in July 2010. For the first year after the bill's signing, Mrs. Warren worked tirelessly as the CFPB's Special Assistant to the President to “stand up” the Bureau.
But Warren's nomination for the Director's position was not put forward by Mr. Obama because of his conclusion that her nomination would be too politically contentious.
Notwithstanding the political environment, the CFPB received its enumerated authorities on July 21, 2011.
Due to the partisan resistance to virtually any nomination for Director - some members of Congress wanted to disempower the CFPB or defund it – Mr. Obama felt constrained to appoint former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to be the Director of the CFPB in January 2012, through a "recess appointment", over the objections of Republican Senators.
Last week Mrs. Warren, the 63-year-old Harvard Law School professor, was elected the first female U. S. Senator of Massachusetts by the considerable lead of 54% to 46% over Scott Brown, who had been elected in 2010 to fill out the late Edward M. Kennedy’s term. Her acceptance speech included her promise that she would be "a fighter for the middle class".
Soon, Mrs. Warren will take her oath as the junior Senator of Massachusetts.
With this in mind, I thought it would be informative to consider Mrs. Warren's responses to the questions I posed in my interview, in the context of what the CFPB has accomplished to date and has pledged to accomplish in the future.
I have written extensively about the CFPB. If interested, please feel free to view or download these articles, newsletters, and recent papers.
For selected issuances involving the CFPB, visit our library.
Although it is in its infancy, perhaps we can begin to discern the broad outlines of the CFPB’s commitment to the vision of consumer advocacy set forth by Mrs. Warren.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Organizations that Accepted Participation
Organizations that Declined Participation
In Her Own Words