Beverage’s reversal reflects a noticeable thaw in relations between Warren and parts of the banking industry. This week, Camden Fine, president and CEO of the influential Independent Community Bankers Association, told a gathering of 1,000 bankers that the odds Obama would nominate Warren were “better than even,” later remarking to American Banker that “you would have to look favorably on a [Warren] nomination because clearly she understands our model.” Frank Keating, the head of the American Bankers Association, told a reporter that the ABA would support Warren if she were confirmed as CFPB director by the Senate. And Robert Palmer, who heads the Community Bankers Association of Ohio, captured the mood of small banks when he told Bloomberg Businessweek that if Warren “leaves, and the direction changes, we’re not going to be very receptive.”
This is fascinating. It’s still not quite clear what’s going on here beyond getting the charming Warren in face to face to prove she doesn’t have horns and a forked tongue. Perhaps she’s getting coopted, though I doubt that.
I’d guess that she’s cleverly playing up a split between community bankers and the too-big-to-fail behemoths. The former aren’t much fans of the latter, and they ultimately have more leverage with politicians, since every congressperson has multiple bankers in his district, but the TBTF banks are concentrated in Chuck Schumer territory and Charlotte.
Thing is, Republicans still hate her. But resistance among them seems to be falling away somewhat as the banks’ does. It’s looking more like she’ll get the chance to run the bureau she founded.