July 16 (Bloomberg) — The imminent reshaping of U.S. banking regulation creates a new center of gravity in Washington, a consumer czar with thousands of employees, a $400 million budget and power to impose federal rules on mortgages, credit cards and lay-away plans.
With the stakes high, business lobbyists who failed to kill the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Congress now hope to influence President Barack Obama’s choice of director and the Senate’s confirmation proceedings.
“This is akin to a Supreme Court nominee for financial services,” Richard Hunt, president of the Consumer Bankers Association in Arlington, Virginia, said in an interview. “We are taking this very seriously.”
Public and private conversations in Washington about the job have centered on the likely candidacy of Elizabeth Warren, chairman of the congressional panel overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, who is credited with conceiving the consumer agency.