On her first day running the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Elizabeth Warren met with a group of bankers from her home state, Oklahoma. Going into that meeting, Roger Beverage, president of the Oklahoma Bankers Association, feared the havoc Warren, who had developed a reputation as a fierce consumer champion, would soon wreak upon his state's banks. He and his colleagues in the banking industry, he recalls, "had this vision that she was akin to the Antichrist."
Today, Beverage considers himself a Warren convert. He openly praises Warren—who was appointed by the White House to get the bureau up and running but has not been nominated to head it—saying she is "far and away" the most qualified person to become the bureau's permanent director. "Ms. Warren has demonstrated that she is willing to work as hard as possible for the benefit of consumers, consumers' families, and community banks," Beverage says. "She would be an outstanding director, and I have encouraged both of our US senators to look past political rhetoric and look at what the woman has done."