Washington (CNNMoney.com) - Elizabeth Warren doesn't look or sound scary. She's a 61-year-old Harvard Law School professor from Oklahoma who has written personal finance books, some with her daughter.
But conservatives and some bankers are trying to kill any chance that Warren – a consistent critic of the financial sector before it was cool to be one – will run the consumer financical protection agency that's part of the Wall Street reform measure just signed into law by President Obama. Naysayers, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., say they just don't trust her – although he doesn't say why.
"I think there's a lot of controversy around Elizabeth Warren's services," McConnell said Tuesday in a media briefing. "It is an
extraordinarily powerful position with an incredibly large budget and authority that is constrained by almost nothing. And, therefore, the person that does serve in that capacity is going to have to be trusted by everyone."
Warren, who chairs a congressionally appointed watchdog panel over the federal bailout, is not the only candidate for the job. But she is the one everyone is watching.
Washington (CNN) – President Obama used his weekly radio and internet address to tout the Wall Street reform bill signed into law this week but also slammed House Minority Leader John Boehner, saying the Republican's plan to create jobs is "surprisingly short, and sadly familiar."
"[W]hat we can't afford right now is to go back to the same ideas that created this mess in the first place," Obama says. "Unfortunately, those are the ideas we keep hearing from our friends in the other party. This week, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives offered his plan to create jobs. It's a plan that's surprisingly short, and sadly familiar."
"These are not new ideas. They are the same policies that led us into this recession. They will not create jobs, they will kill them. They will not reduce our deficit, they will add $1 trillion to our deficit. They will take us backward at a time when we need to keep America moving forward."
Boehner shot back Saturday, calling Obama "out of touch."
Las Vegas (CNN) - Elizabeth Warren is a hero at Netroots Nation, a gathering of progressive bloggers and activists meeting this week in Las Vegas.
Warren is a leading candidate for director of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). And many of the Netroots advocates here vow to use their fundraising and online muscle to press President Obama and Democrats in Congress to make that happen.
Warren, a Harvard professor and chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), is an outspoken consumer advocate who originally proposed the idea for such a bureau. The financial reform legislation signed by President Obama this week made the CFPB a reality. And in an interview with ABC News on Thursday, the President indicated that Warren is among those he's considering as the Bureau's director.
But Warren has critics in the business community, and both Obama and a key Democratic leader in Congress have made it clear she is no shoo-in for the post.
President Obama signed financial reform legislation into law on Wednesday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
New York (CNNMoney.com) - After more than a year of work and months of grueling debates on Capitol Hill, President Obama on Wednesday signed the Wall Street reform bill, the most sweeping overhaul of the financial system since the New Deal.
"These reforms represent the strongest consumer financial protections in history," Obama said. "And these protections will be enforced by a new consumer watchdog with just one job: looking out for people – not big banks, not lenders, not investment houses – in the financial system."
In a major signing ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, Obama was flanked by a number of lawmakers who worked on the legislation, including Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the two committee chairmen who sponsored the bill.
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - As soon as President Obama's name shows up on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law Wednesday, there will be some changes in the way the financial industry does business.
Immediately, regulators will get new powers to take down failing giant financial firms – powers they didn't have in 2008 when the investment firm Lehman Brothers collapsed and threatened the entire financial system.
Other big provisions are closer to a year away, such as forcing complex financial contracts to be traded on open exchanges, and creating new consumer protection rules requiring more disclosure and fewer hidden fees for mortgages and credit cards.
President Obama will sign into law Wednesday a sweeping Wall Street reform bill. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - President Obama will sign into law Wednesday the Wall Street reform bill - the most-sweeping set of changes to America's financial regulatory system since the 1930s.
The legislation will vastly reform the way big financial firms do business.
This is "reform that will prevent the kind of shadowy deals that led to this crisis, reform that would never again put taxpayers on the hook for Wall Street's mistakes," the president said last week.
The bill aims to strengthen consumer protection, rein in complex financial products and head off more bank bailouts.
The Senate approved the reforms Thursday on a 60 to 39 vote, ending more than a year-long effort to pass legislation in response to the 2008 financial crisis.
Editor's note: Gloria Borger is a senior political analyst for CNN, appearing regularly on CNN's "The Situation Room," "AC360°" and "State of the Union," as well as participating in special event coverage.
Washington (CNN) - Ask anyone at the White House about the importance of the financial reform bill the president will sign today, and the answer is near-universal: a colossal achievement. And why not?
It's sweeping legislation: creating new consumer protections, making it unattractive for institutions to become "too big to fail," imposing new rules for financial transparency.
And, by the way, it's also a pretty popular idea, in theory at least: 60 percent of Americans say they want to reform Wall Street, according to a recent CNN poll. So it's a no-brainer, right?
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - Wall Street reform isn't quite the law of the land, but already top Democrats are battling over who President Obama should name to run the signature piece of the measure: the consumer protection agency.
For more than a year, the top pick has been assumed to be Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard University law professor who came up with a lot of the original ideas behind the agency.
"Elizabeth Warren is a great, great champion for consumers, the middle class families across this country. . . And what has been done here in many ways reflects something that she's been advocating for years and years and years," said White House Adviser David Axelrod last Friday, confirming Warren as one of a few candidates for the job.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama is planning to sign the financial regulatory reform bill into law next Wednesday, according to senior administration officials.