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Obama to Nominate Richard Cordray as Head of Consumer Agency

Richard Cordray

President Barack Obama will announce today his intent to nominate Richard Cordray to serve as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray is a former Ohio attorney general and played a large role in overhauling the rules that govern the financial sector.

“Richard Cordray has spent his career advocating for middle-class families, from his tenure as Ohio’s attorney general, to his most recent role as heading up the enforcement division at the CFPB and looking out for ordinary people in our financial system,” Obama said in a statement.

The bureau will officially become an agency this Thursday and will have the authority to write rules and oversee mortgages, credit cards and other forms of lending by of America’s largest banks.

In his decision to nominate Cordray, Obama bypassed the controversy that would come of his nomination of Elizabeth Warren, who has been assembling the agency as a special adviser to the White House and to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Warren faced opposition in the Senate and struggled in winning confirmation.

Cordray is considered an associate to Warren and has collaborated with her as enforcement director for the agency.

“Rich is smart, he is tough, and he will make a stellar director,” Warren said. “I am very pleased for him and very pleased for the CFPB.”

Cordray is likely to face resistance among Republicans as he has a record of cracking down on the financial industry. His selection requires Senate confirmation.

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