Felix Salmon

The doomed Grayson/Clay/Miller CFPA amendment

By Felix Salmon
October 20, 2009

Mike Konczal has discovered an interesting amendment to the Consumer Financial Protection Agency bill, which would force the new agency to do an annual “financial autopsy” on a year’s worth of bankruptcies and foreclosures, to see whether any financial products turn out to have been particularly to blame. If there are, the CFPA would then be authorized to ban such products going forwards.

It’s a great idea, so long as the team of forensic accountants and financial experts is genuinely independent and is well schooled in the use and misuse of statistical data. But as Mike points out, the existence of such a team would make the relationship between the CFPA and financial institutions even more adversarial than it already looks set to be. And as TED points out, that’s both necessary and impossible.

The current administration’s plans for regulatory reform started out weak, in an attempt to make their passage politically palatable. Since then, they’ve only got weaker. Which means that the Grayson/Clay/Miller amendment simply ain’t gonna happen, essential as it might be to preclude evil and predatory new products from being introduced in a manner designed to circumvent the CFPA.

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What does it mean when there’s an “RT” before the @ sign in your twitter feed?

Check out the comments here:

http://baselinescenario.com/2009/10/20/w hy-is-the-chamber-of-commerce-defending- big-banks/

There is a way to keep relationships kosher. And it involves legions of Little Brothers and Sisters. Oh my!


The CFPA would have authority to determine which products consumers can choose from. In short, the bill would create a regulatory overlay of the entire business community, extending far beyond traditional financial services. We need to take control of consumer choice. How does CFPA affect you? http://www.friendsoftheuschamber.com/iss ues/index.cfm?ID=469

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