Elizabeth Warren, #3 on our list of Most Creative People in Business, first pitched the idea of a consumer financial product safety commission in an obscure journal article in 2007 with the line “If it’s good enough for microwaves, it’s good enough for mortgages.”
When I spoke to her in March, she cast the battle for financial reform as the fight of her career, and a litmus test of whether our government is broken:
“The money is all on one side and the votes are
all on the other. So, that’s what we’ll find out. It’s banks vs.
families. And we’ll see who comes out on top.”
Well, the families have won the day. Today, at 5:45 am, a House- Senate conference
committee agreed on the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which creates that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with many other measures to protect small investors and homeowners while cracking down on and even shutting down shaky financial firms. “ I will have more later, but we won and they lost,” wrote an elated Ed Mierzwinski of the Public Interest Research Groups, which have worked closely with Warren on this issue.
The bill is expected to become law before July 4th, giving us all something to feel a little patriotic about.