It may be one of the few times when a faculty position at Harvard Law School is a consolation prize.
Elizabeth Warren, who has been leading the set up for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) but wasn’t nominated to head it, will be leaving the Obama administration at the end of the month to return to her endowed professorship at Harvard Law School, the Treasury Department announced.
Rajeev Date, the bureau’s associate director of research, markets and regulations, will run the bureau’s day-to-day operations until the Senate confirms a director.
President Obama bypassed Warren and instead nominated former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to the top position, but Senate Republicans have said they won’t confirm anybody until the Obama administration agrees to make structural changes to the bureau.
The House passed legislation last week that would restructure the bureau, including having it run by a five-member board, but Senate Democrats have opposed the measure and Obama said he’d veto it.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, with whom Warren has often feuded about how much regulation of the financial industry there should be, praised her work in a statement.
“Professor Warren has done an extraordinary job standing up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Her efforts to simplify mortgage and credit card disclosures, protect military families from abusive and deceptive financial practices, and bring aboard top talent like Richard Cordray and Raj Date have built a strong foundation for the Bureau’s future success,” he said.
Until the bureau has a full-time director it won’t have the authority to regulate non-bank entities, such as payday lenders.
However, the bureau has authority to issue regulations on a broad range of consumer financial products and will have direct enforcement authority of financial institutions with assets of $10 billion or more.
Warren has said he she will consider suggestions by some Democratic leaders that she seek the Democratic nomination for Senate from Massachusetts next year. If she won the nomination she’d face Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who won a special election following the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).