What once had a been a central element of financial reform could be junked: The White House is prepared to abandon the creation of a stand-alone consumer protection agency. The administration hopes that leaving it behind will enable faster approval of a new reform bill working its way through Congress. According to The Washington Post, the Obama economic team now says it would welcome a regulator for consumers located inside another agency like the Treasury Department. There's hope that a bill may be signed before the 2010 elections. "Both sides are going to have to learn to live with things that aren't exactly how they would have written it," a Senate aide said.