June - 2009
New Consumer Protection Agency to level the playing field
Based on Harvard University law professor Elizabeth Warren’s ideas, president Barack Obama has proposed the creation of a new consumer advocacy agency, The Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which would oversee all matters of consumer payments —to level the playing field that Bankers have for the most turned in their favor.
Elizabeth Warren, brilliant attorney, Senate appointed TARP overseer, longtime writer and advocate of consumers, would be the perfect person to lead this agency.
According to this Reuter’s article, the new agency, which Congress would have to approve, would have the power to write rules and design or ban financial products. It could also examine firms and impose fines and other penalties on almost any institution that offers products such as home loans or credit cards.
If you’d like to see a near-final draft of the proposed financial reforms, click on this Washington Post link.
“The American people sent me to Washington to stand up for their interests. And while I’m not spoiling for a fight, I’m ready for one”, Obama said.
We all know how utterly ineffective the SEC has been in regulating Wall Street, ENRON and the Madoff case stand out as the most blatant oversights.
And, although Chairman Bernanke has been doing a terrific job at the Fed, let’s not forget that the they were instrumental in facilitating the financial crisis —Mr. Greenspan fought adamantly against any attempt to regulate the derivatives markets, during his Chairman tenure, a riveting mistake that he has publicly recognized.
To wit, the Fed is mama bank, it’s charter mandates that it protect its puppies —banks, not consumers.
Interests at odds with consumers, which President Obama so eloquently explained today in a weekly radio address:
“These interests argue against reform even as millions of people are facing the consequences of this crisis in their own lives.”
“These interests defend business-as-usual even though we know that it was business-as-usual that allowed this crisis to take place.”
“Today, folks signing up for a mortgage, student loan, or credit card face a bewildering array of incomprehensible options. Companies compete not by offering better products, but more complicated ones—with more fine print and hidden terms.”
“The American people sent me to Washington to stand up for their interests. And while I’m not spoiling for a fight, I’m ready for one.”
Good luck!, Mr. President.