Looking at the Consumer Financial Protection Agency

July 1, 2009

This is one of my favorite parts of the consumer protection bill:

The Agency shall have no authority under this section to declare an act or practice in connection with a transaction with a consumer for a consumer financial product or service to be unlawful on the grounds that such act or practice is unfair unless the Agency has a reasonable basis to conclude that the act or practice causes or is likely to cause substantial injury to consumers which is not reasonably avoidable by consumers and such substantial injury is not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or to competition. In determining whether an act or practice is unfair, the Agency may consider established public policies as evidence to be considered with all other evidence.

My spin: I think the whole mortage crisis was “reasonably avoidable” with just a smidgen of consumer education. That is where the solution should be, not ANOTHER agency.

One comment

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Sounds to me like another one of the “We do have to do something” ideas. An agency without a clear mission and the authority to carry out that mission is nothing but wind and more of what we have heard and seen.

Posted by f belz | Report as abusive