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White House adviser Elizabeth Warren has been busy holding several meetings, lunches and phone calls with top financial industry executives, the very officials who probably have the most angst about the consumer protection agency she is charged with setting up.
The Treasury Department Wednesday finally revealed details of Warren's schedule from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2. And it shows that Warren, a Harvard law professor and long-time banking industry critic, has been very open to meeting with the nation's top bankers as she works to launch the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
According to the document, she has met with the heads of Citibank, U.S. Bancorp (USB), T.D. Bank, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), among others.
Here are some specifics:
She had breakfast in late September with Richard Davis, the chief executive of U.S. Bancorp at Old Ebbitt Grill, a popular Washington restaurant near the White House and Treasury Department.
Also in late September, she held a phone call with American Express Co. (AXP) Chief Executive Kenneth Chenault. She also met with Chenault in mid-October, according to Warren's calendar, which notes that Chenault specifically flew to Washington just to meet with her.
On Sept., Warren met with with TD Bank Financial Group President and Chief Executive Officer Edmund Clark on Capitol Hill.
Early in October, Warren met with UBS Group Americas Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Wolf. She met with Citigroup Inc. (C) Chief Executive Vikram Pandit in New York on Oct 4. A couple of days later, she had an afternoon meeting with HSBC North America Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Niall Booker on Oct. 6.
Also in October, Warren met with J.P. Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon.
In October, she talked with officials from Deutsche Bank AG (DB) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) as well as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Discover Financial Services (DFS) David Nelms.
Later in October, she met with Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) President and Chief Executive John Stumpf and in early November, she met with Morgan Stanley (MS) Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat.
Warren has also been in contact with financial industry trade groups. She has spoken with American Bankers Association President Ed Yingling, met and eaten with Financial Services Roundtable President Steve Bartlett, met with Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association President Tim Ryan and eaten in the Treasury dining room with Rob Nichols, who heads a financial policy organization comprising the chief executives of more than a dozen large financial firms.
Her schedule also makes clear that Warren has been in contact with groups that don't represent banks and financial firms but still could be affected by the new bureau's rules and policies. For instance, Warren has met twice with the National Retail Federation's General Counsel Mallory Duncan.
The group is particularly interested in interchange fees and other financial rules that could affect merchants. A battle had heated up earlier this year during congressional debate on the financial overhaul known as the Dodd-Frank Act. Banks charge merchants fees each time a debit card is swiped, but merchants have fought to pay lower fees to banks, while financial firms argue that fee limits will hurt profits and revenues. The Federal Reserve is expected to propose new rules limiting interchange fees as early as December.
Warren, who has said she would like to find ways to help struggling small, community banks, also met with several representatives of community bankers. She has spoken to officials with the Community Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America.
Representatives of credit unions, which are also likely to be affected by the bureau's new rules, have also been in touch with Warren. Warren has met with Daniel Mica, president and chief executive of the Credit Union National Association, and Fred Becker, president and chief executive of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.
Consumer advocates held talks with Warren as well, including Travis Plunkett of the Consumer Federation of America.
As an important new member of the Obama administration, Warren has also held various meetings with other senior White House and Treasury advisers, such as Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, and Austan Goolsbee.
She also has been in touch with other regulators such as Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro. She spoke with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Sept. 30, just a little over a week after being appointed.
Warren's schedule also includes several talks with attorneys general, representing states such as Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio and Illinois. Warren has said that state attorneys general will likely take the lead in dealing with complaints that banks have mishandled foreclosure paperwork, signing off on foreclosure documents without reading them
Meanwhile, key U.S. lawmakers made it onto her schedule as well, including Rep. Spencer Bachus, an Alabama Republican who is a key critic of the bureau and is expected to gain even greater power in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives next year. She's also spoken with Richard Shelby, who has also spoken critically of the bureau.
In addition, she has spoken to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as well as key Reps. Louise Slaughter (D., N.Y.), Henry Waxman (D., Calif.), Barney Frank (D., Mass.), Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) and key Sens. Chris Dodd (D., Conn.), Olympia Snowe (R., Maine), Tim Johnson (D., S.D.) and Richard Durbin (D., Ill.), to name a few.
-By Maya Jackson Randall, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-6687, firstname.lastname@example.org