Tennessean Op-Ed: Consumer Protections in Financial Reform Legislation Are Long Overdue
The Tennessean graciously gave us space in today’s paper to discuss the upside of the new financial reform legislation passed last week in the U.S. House of Representatives. The consumer protections built into the bill present a victory for hard-working Americans and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is one of the most necessary provisions.
The new department has an independent budget as well as an independent rule-writing component and, with its proximity to other federal agencies, will be able to keep a close and watchful eye on the marketplace in which hard-working Americans shop for financial services. The department will work solely for the American people to ensure that all financial transactions — from credit card agreements to home mortgages — are above-board and equitable while protecting us from the obscure and incomprehensible policies and instruments of financial manipulation that created our current financial crisis, punished hard-working consumers and rewarded greed.
And it’s about time. We rely on public institutions like the federal government to set up and enforce regulations that protect us from harm. We’ve seen it work successfully in the past — the Environmental Protection Agency protects drinking water, and the Federal Aviation Administration protects our families as they travel the crowded skies. The creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau means we will now be protected from the type of financial ruin that can quickly erase years of hard work and make the American dream suddenly, and without warning, disappear.
An effective government is the voice of the people. An effective government is about responsible management, long-term planning and protection. An effective government is not just pro-business, but pro-ethical business. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be a much-needed addition to an effective government that works for us and in our best interest.
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We’ll keep an eye on the legislation as it makes it’s way through the Senate.