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[This weekend, the Los Angeles Times chronicled President Obama's consumer protection record, with heavy emphasis on the history and fight over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Here is an excerpt:]
"[...] Launched in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the bureau is one of President Obama’s signature accomplishments. [...] It is emblematic of an aggressive approach to consumer protection that has led to record numbers of automobile recalls, a crackdown on financial fraud scams and a slew of new regulations covering a wide swath of businesses, including healthcare providers, food manufacturers, retirement planners and high-speed Internet service providers.
“I think you have to consider him a tremendous president for consumers,” said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. [...]
The brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) when she was a law professor, the bureau was the centerpiece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank overhaul of financial regulations and the first new federal agency since the early 1970s that was focused specifically on American consumers. It took over and expanded on consumer protection duties that were spread among several other financial regulators after they were lambasted for not doing more to prevent subprime mortgage abuses. In the nearly five years since opening its doors, the independent consumer bureau has issued regulations covering mortgages, payday loans, debt collection, arbitration clauses and for-profit colleges, among other things. [...] The creation of the bureau “is an enormous achievement in terms of consumer protection,” said David Vladeck, a Georgetown University law professor and consumer protection expert. [...]
For more background on the CFPB, see our recent PIRG post: Our new "CFPB Can Help" video is live.
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