September 16th, 2010
12:50 PM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Elizabeth Warren

After months of speculation, Elizabeth Warren has been appointed to launch the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. President Obama named the 61-year-old Harvard-based financial attorney Wednesday as a special presidential adviser until the Senate can confirm a director to the agency, various reports said.

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog called Warren an outspoken populist hero. As head of oversight for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, she has not hesitated to criticize some of the bailouts, the blog said. Yet the new agency — which would regulate mortgages and credit cards to protect consumers — was her own idea, and that brought on controversy.

Warren, a native of Norman, Oklahoma, graduated from law school in 1976 with a new baby and no job prospects, according to a 2009 profile in The Boston Globe magazine. Following her divorce two years later, she became increasingly interested in teaching about the impact of foreclosures and bankruptcy on people and the law. She has since written books about Americans in debt and the plight of middle-class America, as well as a well-known book, written with her daughter, called “The Two-Income Trap.”

Last year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked Warren to handle oversight of TARP. “I’ve really been talking about the same set of issues for a long time, but I was under the radar, and that was OK with me,” Warren told The Globe magazine. “I don’t know, but I think part of it was that the world changed. What was a boring and obscure issue [financial services] suddenly moved front and center.”

WSJ: At last, Ms. Warren goes to Washington

Boston Globe: The Watchdog

Pope Benedict XVI

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church arrived in the United Kingdom on Thursday morning amid growing concerns about the problem of sexual abuse by priests and the church’s response to it. Pope Benedict XVI met Queen Elizabeth in Edinburgh, Scotland, and will travel later Thursday to London, where protesters are expected to greet him as early as Friday.

Five Britons, who all were allegedly abused by priests, demanded Wednesday that the Vatican be more transparent about accusations of sexual abuse by priests. One of them, Sue Cox, says her family priest raped her when she was 10. She doesn’t want apologies, or even a meeting with the pontiff, she told CNN. She wants action.

"I am so sick and tired of being patronized, anonymized and disregarded by the Church,” she wrote in a letter to the archbishop of Westminster last month. “And the recent obsequious apologies that have come from your offices are doing nothing to help people like me. They are simply making matters worse."

CNN will air a special documentary on the subject, “What the Pope Knew,” on September 25 and 26 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET.

CNN: Pope addresses sex abuse scandal as he starts visit to Britain

Katherine Jackson

The mother of the late singer Michael Jackson — who is also the guardian of his three children — filed a wrongful death suit against AEG Live on Wednesday. AEG was the employer of Dr. Conrad Murray, the man charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Jackson case.

Katherine Jackson, now in her early 80s, continues to live in the Encino Hills, California, house the Jackson family purchased after relocating from Gary, Indiana, in the 1960s. Michael’s older children, Prince and Paris, reportedly attend a private school nearby, while the youngest, Blanket, is home-schooled.

Katherine Jackson, who is estranged from Michael’s father, Joseph, told British tabloid The Daily Mirror earlier this summer that she’s taken the children to Gary to teach them about their heritage. Ironically, Michael Jackson’s death has brought the family closer together, she said. After a relatively sheltered life with Michael, his children are now exposed to many cousins, uncles and aunts, who Katherine Jackson said help fill the void “immensely.”

Still, she made it clear that the mystery of Michael’s death is not something she’ll cast aside. "If I could see him again," she said. "I would want to know one thing: 'Who did this to you?'" Perhaps the lawsuit will help her get an answer.

CNN: Michael Jackson's mom sues production company for son's death

The Daily Mirror: Michael Jackson's mom remembers her son a year on

Gwen Stefani

The rocker turned fashion designer and her immensely popular L.A.M.B. collection have earned the coveted finale spot Thursday night at the close of the New York Fashion Week collections at  Lincoln Center. The lead singer of No Doubt is highly respected for her hands-on approach, amid an onslaught of celebrities turned designers.

Stefani not only has L.A.M.B. (which stands for Love. Angel. Music. Baby., the name of her first solo album from 2004); she also designs a second line, Harajuku Lovers, inspired by young Japanese girls. Stefani has also expanded into a fragrance and accessory line and has told reporters that she’d like to branch into cosmetics as well.

Celebrities are certain to crowd Lincoln Center for the show (Rachel Zoe is a fan), and Stefani’s son, Kingston, and husband, musician Gavin Rossdale, may make an appearance. The two caught at least one show earlier this week.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: About L.A.M.B.

New York Magazine: L.A.M.B. fashion label

About.com: Gwen Stefani photo gallery

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Sandy

    Groan . . . every time the government starts "protecting" us, things take a dive - for the worse.

    I can't think of a situation where we are better off after the government "protected" us than before it did. If you can, please remind me and it may cheer me up.

    September 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • uhhh...

      child labor laws.

      September 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      abolition of poll taxes.

      September 16, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chandler02

      If it wasn't for the creation of the FDA, there would still be rats in your sausage. Try not to let paranoia and right wing propaganda keep you from seeing the value in legitimate programs.

      September 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eloc

      The roads you drive on and the food you eat came into existance because of government. Government works only when people accept actions for profit on all things doesn't work. With 6 banks now owning over 66% of this country's wealth, any intervention into our banking system is sweet relief. Remember the signs that greeted Bush in Germany? "We tried capitalism and it didn't work." Since returning financial matters back into the hands of government, Germany now leads the US in EVERY catagory. I'd like some of that.

      September 17, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. smartdvp

    They have a werry strange way of thinking. and a old way of thinking. When something dosent work, they should change what they are doing to something new and better.

    September 16, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. oldguy40

    Consumer financial protection is long overdue, and I'm glad the Obama admin is doing something about it. Sleazy lawyers with their sneaky legalese clauses in contracts, wink & nod bankers who do the same, credit card companies, etc. ad nauseum are the reason the public needs a federal watchdog. 98% of people are honest and fair, and many seal a deal with nothing more than a handshake.
    The other 2% (1 out of 50) who are nothing more than crooks should face large punitive fines and jail time for their dishonest and shady dealings with the public.

    September 16, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pamela Sellers

    This program will apparently help consumers deal with issues such as credit cards and mortgages with adjusting interest rates.

    Does anyone have any alternate ideas about how consumers can protect themselves?

    September 16, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • GABRIEL

      IF THE BANK IS GREADY, CHEATS YOU, OR STEALS YOUR HOUSE:
      BURN THE BANK DOWN.

      September 16, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. The_Dude

    The person overseeing the failed TARP program is now overseeing consumer protection. You'll have to excuse me if I am not thrilled. The TARP program was such a sucess and all....

    September 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chandler02

      The Obama administration largely had their hands tied with TARP as it was created under the Bush Administration.

      September 16, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GABRIEL

    IF THE BANK CHEATS YOU, OR STEALS YOUR HOUSE:
    BURN THE BANK DOWN.

    September 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. GoodReason

    Elizabeth Warren fights for the underdog–the mom-and-pop families who are trying not to get shafted by the greedy, lying players on Wall Street. This is a great day for Americans, and I say that as a proud conservative. You go, girl! Kick some Wall Street booty!

    September 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |