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					                                           Elizabeth Warren
                                              for Massachusetts

        Fact Sheet: Elizabeth Warren and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Elizabeth Warren’s original thinking, political courage, and determination is widely recognized as central to the creation of the new
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – a watchdog agency designed to level the playing field for consumers and hold
accountable financial institutions that break the rules.

Elizabeth first proposed the new agency in a 2007 article in the Democracy Journal. She          “...Elizabeth was sounding the alarm on
called for a new financial watchdog with the authority to rein in the tricks and traps too           predatory lending and the financial
often buried in the fine print of financial products and services. For the next few years, she       pressures on middle-class families.
advocated in Washington and across the country for the new agency. She argued that the               And in the years since, she’s become
financial crisis of 2008 – a crisis that started one family and one lousy mortgage at a time         perhaps the leading voice in our
– could have been prevented with stronger regulatory oversight. Over time, elected officials         country on behalf of consumers.”
and regulators across the country began to endorse the idea for a new agency. President              –President Barack Obama
Obama announced his support for the proposal in 2009 and frequently credits Elizabeth for
her role. “Now, this is an idea that I got from Elizabeth Warren, who I first met years ago,”
President Obama said in 2011. “Back then—this is long before the financial crisis—Elizabeth was sounding the alarm on predatory lending
and the financial pressures on middle-class families. And in the years since, she’s become perhaps the leading voice in our country on behalf
of consumers.”

The fight for the agency was a tough one. An army of Wall Street lobbyists made killing the consumer agency their top priority. But Elizabeth
and a coalition of more than 200 groups – consumer groups, labor unions, civil rights organizations, and other advocates – organized
support for the agency over the next year. Those organizations were joined by informal groups of ordinary Americans from around the
country, bloggers, letter-to-the-editor writers, small business owners, community bankers, people who spoke up at town hall meetings and
who signed petitions, and those who wrote their Members of Congress. In the end, David beat Goliath, and the CFPB came to life when
Congress passed and the President signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

In September 2010, President Obama and Treasury Secretary Geithner appointed Elizabeth Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to
the Secretary of the Treasury with responsibility for overseeing the development of the CFPB. On Elizabeth’s watch, the CFPB took key early
steps to take on the tricks and traps in mortgages, credit cards, student loans, overdraft programs, and other financial products and to
supervise payday lenders and largely-unregulated financial institutions for the first time in history. The CFPB also built robust offices for
Servicemember Affairs, Older Americans, and financial education and set up its enforcement and supervision infrastructure to monitor big
banks for violating the law.

Since its initial establishment, the CFPB has continued to receive backing and support from a strong coalition of consumer organizations,
from citizens eager to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, from elected officials and regulators, and from editorial boards and other
observers across the country. One Boston Globe editorial in 2011, pressing the importance of a strong CFPB, summarized the stakes: “It’s
hardly surprising that the [banking] industry would bristle at tighter regulations, but there’s no squaring its position with the broader public
interest. Because most consumers aren’t doctors or engineers, the need for federal oversight of medicines and consumer products is well
established. There’s no less a need for greater scrutiny of complex transactions between consumers and financial companies. Indeed, greater
transparency in consumer lending might have averted the fateful subprime-mortgage binge of the early ’00s.”

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                                                           Paid for by Elizabeth for MA

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