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.

Read the rest…
We’ll keep an eye on the legislation as it makes it’s way through the Senate.


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