Demos Supports Elizabeth Warren to Head New Consumer Protection Bureau

New York, NY--Miles Rapoport, President of the nonpartisan research and advocacy organization Demos, issued the following statement today on the upcoming nomination of the inaugural director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):

“Our country is at a critical turning point.  By enacting the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Congress has declared the end of the era of deregulation and delinquent government oversight that enabled the financial sector to reap oversized profit at the expense of American households and investors, ultimately caving our weakened economy in on itself.  The centerpiece of this landmark legislation is the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a first-of-its-kind federal agency whose sole mission is to shield the credit and savings of everyday Americans from unfair and deceptive lending practices.  However, the fledgling Bureau will only be as strong as its director is effective.  We can think of no more qualified public leader than Elizabeth Warren.

“Professor Warren understands that, on issues of consumer financial protection, nothing less than the future of the American middle class is at stake. Her book 'The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents are Going Broke' revealed how the weight of ever-more-costly debt is preventing millions of hard-working families from achieving the American Dream.  As Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel monitoring the Treasury's conduct of the bank bailout, Warren has demonstrated a keen ability to cut through the political bramble to uncover whether the TARP program is operating in the best interests of the American taxpayer.  In making the case for the establishment of the CFPB--a notion originated by Professor Warren herself--she has become known as a passionate advocate for regular Americans. 

"Moreover, Professor Warren is not opposed to business; she is opposed to the unsustainable business models that have endangered our nation. The Great Recession should be ample evidence that reckless, anti-consumer lending is bad for business.  American businesses will benefit from a Warren appointment, knowing that there will be a regulatory force in Washington putting the engine of our economy--the American consumer--first.  Employers will thrive--and hire--when families can buy new products instead of losing a third of their paychecks servicing unproductive, high-interest debt.  Professor Warren understands how the markets have failed on both Wall Street and Main Street; this makes her uniquely prepared to teach American business a fundamental lesson: sound regulation helps markets function better. 

“The President should nominate, and the Senate should confirm, Elizabeth Warren as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The appointment of, and a vote for, Professor Warren will be a vote for America’s middle class.”

The Demos policy brief, "Why We Need an Independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency Now," (available at http://bit.ly/dD3NUt) recounts the history of financial deregulation at the state and federal levels, connecting this policy to increased family economic security and the current economic crisis. The brief also answers some of the Frequently Asked Questions about a new consumer regulator.

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Contact: Tim Rusch, trusch@demos.org, 212.389.1407

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A multi-issue national organization, Demos combines research, policy development and advocacy to influence public debate and catalyze change. Demos works with advocates and policymakers around the country in pursuit of three overarching goals: 1. A more equitable economy with opportunity for all;2. A robust democracy in which all Americans are empowered to participate; 3. A strong public sector that can provide for our common interests and shared needs.