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Elizabeth Warren, Fixing Finances

Ever since she was appointed to oversee the government's bank-bailout program in 2008, and especially since President Barack Obama tapped her to create the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, a new consumer-watchdog agency, Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren has become the public face of consumer protection

Warren, 61, has spent decades researching how debt affects families and has published more than eight books on the subject. Her expertise couldn't be more in demand now, with about 3 million homes in foreclosure. The new agency has drawn praise as well as criticism from some on Wall Street. But Warren is confident that leading the new bureau will give her the chance to protect millions of Americans from sneaky banking practices. "This is ultimately about people who work hard and shouldn't have to worry about credit cards and mortgages that rip them off, " she says.

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