Who Can Obama Nominate To Head Up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?
Treasury Secretary Geithner doesn’t want Elizabeth Warren to head up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created by the new financial reforms. As Shahien Nasiripour points out in the Huffington Post, Warren has called out Geithner on a number of issues, not least of which is the failure of Treasury to lead on the foreclosure problem.
President Obama can’t handle internal controversy, and what a battle it would be. On one side, the money boyz, Larry Summers (women are genetically unsuited for math), Geithner (Sheila Bair and Mary Schapiro are too serious about their jobs and not sufficiently impressed with the political skillz of the money boyz). On the other side, yet another woman more qualified by temperament, brains, determination, knowledge and skill than the money boyz. Geithner couldn’t bear having Warren describe his fetish for giant banks, the only people who might hire him after he exits the revolving door.
We know how that "battle" comes out: just look at Dawn Johnson. That means that Warren, who created the idea and has been its strongest proponent, is out as possible leader.
So, who can the President appoint who would be acceptable to the money boyz, and the administration’s buddies and potential massive contributors at the Business Roundtable? Herewith a list of possibles.
1. Jamie Dimon. Well-known as Obama’s best buddy in the banking sector, he has a strong track record of beating back real regulation, as he demonstrated in dealing with financial reform. That would translate well into protecting banks from vicious credit card holders and borrowers. He could prove his bona fides as a staunch protector of the status quo, which would help if Obama wanted him as Treasury Secretary.
2. Edward Yingling. Yingling is the President and CEO of the American Bankers Association. His credentials are similar to those of Liz Fowler, the ex-WellPoint official who wrote the health insurance company protection act and now is going to Health and Human Services to work on implementing regulations. Yingling, who is a man, and therefore non-threatening to the money boyz, comes from industry, so he is a logical choice for protection of industry from the evils of bank borrowers.
3. Phil Corwin. Corwin was a central player in the enactment of the Bankruptcy Amendments of 2005, the perfectly drafted law, so his bona fides are in order. He also worked on beating back cramdown legislation which would have protected homeowners with underwater mortgages. He isn’t as well known as the first two, so he is much easier to spin. After all, lobbying is just providing information. Prior anti-consumer activities were just working for a living, not an indication of any personal beliefs.
4. Long Shot: Angelo Mozilo. Mozilo has a tremendous track record with consumers. Under his direction, Countrywide Mortgage figured out countless ways to help consumers buy houses they couldn’t otherwise afford. That pesky criminal indictment for fraud will have to be forgotten first.