President Obama appointed Elizabeth Warren to establish the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—an agency that Warren first proposed in the Summer 2007 issue of Democracy.
The creation of the new bureau was a key provision of the financial regulatory reform bill that President Obama signed into law this summer. Warren will serve as Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury to get the new agency started.
Writing about her appointment on the White House blog, Warren returned to the central idea of her Democracy piece:
The new consumer bureau is based on a pretty simple idea: people ought to be able to read their credit card and mortgage contracts and know the deal. They shouldn’t learn about an unfair rule or practice only when it bites them—way too late for them to do anything about it. 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. This new bureau is based on the simple idea that if the playing field is level and families can see what’s going on, they will have better tools to make better choices.
In her Democracy essay, Warren declared: “The time has come to put scaremongering to rest and to recognize that regulation can often support and advance efficient and more dynamic markets.” Three years later, Congress and the President have heeded her call—and American consumers will be the better for it.