Highs: Few people have had as good a financial crisis as Elizabeth Warren. In early 2010, the Harvard Law Professor emerged on The Daily Show and on the cover of TIME, as one of the experts leading the charge for financial reform. In mid-July, the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill passed along with a provision to create a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an idea Warren first proposed three years earlier.
Lows: Despite Warren's urging, the CFPB becomes part of the Federal Reserve, instead of its own separate agency. Critics say the Fed, which has a poor track record on consumer protection, may try to limit the CFPB's power. Warren has insisted that this is not a legitimate concern. Also in 2010, Warren's chilly relationship with the financial industry, which she has long called predatory, came back to haunt her. Bank executives effectively blocked Obama from naming Warren the official head of the CFPB. Instead, in September, Warren got the post of special adviser to the President in charge of setting up the agency with a permanent director to be named later.