As the first general counsel of the just-launched Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Leonard Kennedy understands that his agency makes some people very nervous. The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called it nothing short of “the most powerful regulatory agency that’s ever been put together.”

Kennedy’s message: Take a deep breath. “We are reasoned decision makers and reasonable people,” he says. “We may not get everything right at the very first pass, but I want people to say, ‘We understand how they got there, and they were fair and smart in what they did.’ “

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