Obama To Nominate Former Ohio AG Cordray For CFPB Director

After months of speculation and fighting over the leadership of the newborn Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the White House has announced that President Obama will not nominate Elizabeth Warren for the directorship, but instead will go with former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.

In fact it was Warren, the Harvard professor who has led the creation of the CFPB in the pre-launch months, who wrote about the Cordray nomination on the White House blog:

Rich will be a strong leader for this agency. He has a proven track record of fighting for families during his time as head of the CFPB enforcement division, as Attorney General of Ohio, and throughout his career. He was one of the first senior executives I recruited for the agency, and his hard work and deep commitment make it clear he can make many important contributions in leading it. Rich is smart, he is tough, and he will make a stellar Director. I am very pleased for him and very pleased for the CFPB.

The CFPB leadership and structure has been a controversial matter in Washington. In May, the House Financial Services Committee approved legislation that would replace the directorship with a bipartisan committee of five. While in the Senate, some Republicans said they would not approve any leader until structural changes were made to the CFPB.

Warren says that the CFPB’s mission remains clear: “No one should be tricked in any financial transaction. Prices and risks should be clear. People should be able to make apples-to-apples comparisons. Fine print should be mowed down, not used to hide nasty surprises. And, everyone — even trillion dollar banks — should follow the law.”

Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, issued a statement in support of the Cordray nomination:

We’re very pleased the President is moving forward with an excellent nominee to head this critically important bureau. We need a watchdog to protect consumers from being ripped off by shady lenders and other financial firms when they break the law, and Mr. Cordray is a great pick to get this watchdog up and running. He has the knowledge and experience to get the job done. We also want to commend Elizabeth Warren for her outstanding leadership in envisioning and shaping this bureau.

And yes, we do think he looks a little like NBC Studios page Kenneth Parcell.

A Big Week for the New Consumer Agency [White House Blog]