by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
July 20, 2010
Dear President Obama:
It is time for you to give taxpayers, consumers, and investors a reason to believe that you are truly interested in consumer protection by nominating Professor Elizabeth Warren to be the Director of the much-anticipated Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Professor Warren combines rigorous scholarship, a superb sense of needed change and clear ways to communicate those needs to families and individuals around the country. Consumer leaders know that Professor Warren has been a strong and talented Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel (COP) reviewing the current state of financial markets and the regulatory system.
In addition, Professor Warren had the vision and good sense to propose and advocate for the creation of an entity much like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
It is troubling that Shahien Nasiripour, Huffington Post business reporter, wrote in a July 15, 2010 article: “Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has expressed opposition to the possible nomination of Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a source with knowledge of Geithner’s views.”
It is equally troubling that on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, Senator Christopher Dodd, Chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee attempted to further undermine Professor Warren. Today’s National Journal Online reports that when “Asked about Warren, who is chairing a special commission created to oversee the bank bailouts, Dodd said that ‘no idea is terribly creative if it can’t sell’ and he asked rhetorically about Warren, ‘Is she confirmable?’”
With Senator Dodd showing a lack of leadership or willingness to fight for Professor Warren, and with Treasury Secretary Geithner seemingly preferring someone who is more willing to fight for Wall Street speculators with other peoples’ money than consumers and investors on Main Street, it is imperative that you issue a strong and clear statement of support for Professor Warren now.
Wall Street’s “picks” for high positions in your administration have met with your concurrence again and again. Now it is time for the overwhelming choice of Professor Warren by consumer groups in Washington and all the country to be respected.
If you wish to make this an adverse political issue for November, you can. Or you can be a responsive leader and secure Senate confirmation for the peoples’ choice.