Boston, MA – Consumer advocate and U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren spoke at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library tonight on the upcoming anniversary of the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Below are excerpts from her remarks:
"This Saturday will be the two year anniversary of when the President of the United States signed Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau into law. And it's the one year anniversary of the date the Consumer Agency actually came to be.
"The lobbyists fought us tooth and nail. But right now the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is changing the world. On mortgages, on credit cards, on student loans, it's making them all transparent - much more transparent. And easier to understand the prices, easier to make decisions. It's protecting groups that have been targeted for some of the worst financial products. Seniors, service members, veterans. There's now organizations in CFPB to stop that. It's got a consumer complaint hotline so that someone who gets ripped off has got someone to call to be on their side in negotiating a settlement. It's got the resources to monitor the big banks to make sure they're complying with laws and to hold accountable big banks that break the law. There's an agency that can actually make a difference and is starting to do so.
"One year old and it's starting to make a difference.
"The first time I talked with Senator Kennedy about the idea for the consumer agency, he had just one question. He said, 'What will it do for working families?' And I said 'It won't fix everything, but it will repair a big hole in the bottom of the economic boat. It could make a real difference.' And he looked back at me and he said 'I'll do it.'
"He didn't make a political calculation about how the big banks would line up on this, he just looked straight at me and said 'I'll do it.' And now we have a consumer agency, but in the financial system there's still work to do. Scandals are piling on scandals from JP Morgan losing billions of dollars in a matter of weeks to the rigging of the LIBOR interest rate. Without an honest financial system, no one is safe. The time for political calculations and for lining up with the big banks is over. It's time for each of us to step up, support change, and say 'I'll do it'."