WSJ: Warren CFPB Director Nomination Pending?

Reports this week suggest that a nomination of Elizabeth Warren as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director may be in the works. While the White House has been mum about the nomination, there has been widespread speculation as to whether President Barack Obama will nominate Warren with the knowledge that such a nomination would very likely require a grueling Senate Confirmation process.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Independent Community Bankers of America President and Chief Executive Camden Fine said he sees a “better than even chance” that President Obama will nominate Warren.

Fine spoke before a group of 1,000 bankers gathered to lobby on Capitol Hill, saying he expects the nomination to come within two weeks, according to the WSJ report. “I think the president is going to feel like he needs to give her a shot,” Fine said in an interview.

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Other speculation favoring a Warren nomination includes that of Jaret Seiberg, MF Global analyst, who was also quoted by the WSJ. Seiberg estimated there is now a 70% chance of Warren being the nominee. “Time is running out to confirm a candidate and no other viable alternatives have emerged,” he wrote.

Warren has been tasked with setting up the bureau in advance of its launch on July 21. Last week, American Banker reported on the potential outcomes: President Obama could either nominate a candidate who “sparks little debate,” or could make a recess appointment—a move which would not be well received by Republican opponents.

Either way, time is short with July 21 fast approaching.

Read the Wall Street Journal article.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • With the death of Osama Bin Laden, now is not the time to oppose the President on an issue of this level. For now President Obama is the new Teflon President.

    While the positions of most of those in Congress are entrenched, expect those in shaky election positions to move more to the left in line with the President. Where four days ago, the chances of the nomination of Ms. Warren outside of a recess appointment might have been 1 in 100, as of the Presidential announcement of the death of Osama Bin Laden, the odds of Senate approval of her nomination have risen to greater than 1 out of 2. But the same can be said for any controversial potential nominee right now.

    Formally nominating Ms. Warren now makes sense and should go through with slightly less opposition than the nominee would have encountered last week. One of the indirect results out of the demise of Osama Bin Laden may end up being Senate approval of the formal Presidential nomination of Ms. Warren in the next few weeks. This is not to say that the nomination will fly through the Senate but it is to say enough votes should switch to confirm her formal appointment as Director of the CFPB.

    The President now has far more options available to him than he did on Sunday morning. Senate approval of the formal nomination of Ms. Warren is just one and is probably one of the minor ones.

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