Warren Meets Obama, May Head Fed. Agency

Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren’s meeting with President Obama last week increased speculation as to whether she will be named head of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the new agency—created in July—charged with monitoring financial institutions and promoting consumer rights.

In a press conference last Friday, Obama said he had been in conversation with Warren, but added that he was not ready to make an appointment.

“The idea for this agency was Elizabeth Warren’s. She’s a dear friend of mine,” said Obama, who graduated from the Law School in 1991. “She is a tremendous advocate for this idea.”

Students at the Law School enrolled in Warren’s contracts class learned two weeks ago that she would not be teaching the course but received no explanation as to why. The news fueled rumors that Warren was poised to take the helm of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

But Warren is still currently slated to teach “Empirical Analysis of Law” with Professor Lynn M. LoPucki, according to a spokesperson at the Law School.

Over the past two years, Warren served as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, which implemented the Troubled Asset Relief Program, in which the federal government purchased assets and equity from banks to bolster the teetering financial sector.

Though favored by liberals, Warren is unpopular on Wall Street for her support of middle-class families vis-à-vis major financial institutions. Her appointment would likely spark a partisan debate and launch a daunting confirmation process.

“This is a big task standing up this entire agency, so I’ll have an announcement soon about how we’re going to move forward,” Obama said at last week’s press conference.

—Staff writer Zoe A. Y. Weinberg can be reached at zoe.weinberg@college.harvard.edu.

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