President Obama's vision for a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took a step closer to reality this month with his appointment of Elizabeth Warren as a Special Advisor to the Treasury Secretary. The appointment sets the stage for hiring staff and securing space for the new government agency, with analysts expecting Obama to formally submit Warren's name as a candidate for CFPB Director this fall.

Consumer advocates, including Warren, have championed the plan to launch an "EPA for personal finance" long before the financial industry collapse of 2008. Critics of the Treasury cited its inability to effectively regulate credit card issuers and mortgage lenders in the years leading up to the credit crisis.

Writing on the official White House blog, Warren expressed hew enthusiasm for the new agency and its opportunity repair the "gaping hole in the budgets of millions of families." Warren cautioned, however, that no government agency or consumer bureau would ever deliver on any promise to "fix everything." As an author and educator, Warren has written and lectured extensively on consumer finance, including appearances on CNN, CNBC, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.