With all the talk of deregulation or the lack of regulation in the financial markets over the last several years, there was a growing sentiment that something needed to be done. Even though it was not an easy fight in Washington, President Obama did sign into law the biggest overhaul of regulations of the financial world with the Dodd-Frank Act. Part of this legislation called for the creation of a new bureau that would be the new watchdog of the financial world. This watchdog known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a wide-reaching agency that is designed to keep the financial world in check.
Elizabeth Warren, who has always been a favorite of advocates to be the director, was appointed as a special advisor and charged with getting the agency ready for work. She has done a great job putting the CFPB together and getting it ready to launch. She did all this despite attacks from regulation opponents who now had control of the house. They have made several attempts to defund and weaken the agency before it can even begin. I you are against it then fine, but at least let us see what it can do before we begin making changes. The people of this country deserve an agency that is going to protect their financial interests from an industry that cares more about its bottom line than anything else.
Today, is the culmination of all the hard work. July 21, 2011 is the day the watchdog is unleashed. Until a new director is confirmed the powers will not fully be unleashed, but there is still plenty of good that can and will begin. This CNN Chart does a good job of explaining many of the new functions. Warren was not tapped as the director of the new agency, instead former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has been nominated by the president. Even with the uncertainty of the agency without a director, the one thing that is certain, is that this is a new era of financial protections for American Consumers.