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2 days to inauguration, Biden’s picks for SEC

Democrats want Elizabeth Warren as Joe Biden's running mate


President- elect Joe Biden’s inauguration festivities will begin soon, and here’s everything you need to know.


We’re two days from President-elect Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day and here are the updates from Washington:

Biden on Monday nominated two former financial regulators from President Barack Obama’s administration to lead two agencies, signaling a shift to tougher oversight of the financial industry after President Donald Trump rolled back regulations.

Gary Gensler, a progressive champion of Wall Street reform, is Biden’s pick as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Biden also named Rohit Chopra director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, tapping a strong consumer advocate who worked with Sen. Elizabeth Warren to establish the agency in 2010.

Gensler chaired the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2009 to 2014, leading the Obama’s administration’s efforts to reform the derivatives market following the financial crisis. Gensler, who is also a Warren ally, is currently a professor of the Practice of Global Economics and Management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

A former Goldman Sachs partner who transformed into an advocate of stronger regulations over big banks, Gensler served as chairman of the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission from 2017 to 2019 and worked as chief financial officer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and a senior advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign.

Chopra, a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission appointed in 2018, was the assistant director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when it launched under Warren’s leadership following the 2010 passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. He led the agency’s efforts on student loans and was later named the CFPB’s student loan ombudsman.

As commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, Chopra pushed for has pushed for “aggressive remedies against lawbreaking companies, especially repeat offenders,” the Biden transition team said in a statement, and increased scrutiny over large technology firms.

The pick garnered immediate praise from consumer advocacy organizations.

“Financial predators, watch out,” the consumer rights nonprofit Public Citizen said in a statement, adding that Chopra has “proven himself a dedicated consumer champion and passionate defender of Main Street Americans against corporate wrongdoing.”

“Consumers can rest just a little bit easier knowing that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will not just be on their side, but aggressively establishing rules to stop ripoffs and enforcing the rules against financial cheats and scamsters.”

—Joey Garrison

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