Consumer Protection

House launches latest "hypocritical" campaign to kill CFPB

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services will vote on a budget package that eliminates the budgetary independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) -- an effort to make it the only bank regulator subject to the political chicanery of the Appropriations process -- while simultaneously slashing its budget by 60%. Even the industry trade paper American Banker says: "Is GOP Push to Subject CFPB to Appropriations Hypocritical?"

U.S., States Sue Apple, Publishers Over E-Book Price Conspiracy

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today, the U.S. Attorney General and the Attorney Generals of Connecticut and Texas announced settlements with several publishers -- Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins --over an alleged conspiracy with Apple and other publishers to attack Amazon's pricing model, secretly set e-book prices and thereby harm consumers. However, Apple and the publishers Macmillan and Penguin Group USA have refused to settle and are being sued by the agencies.

Consumer Bureau Compared to Peace Corps

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today, in his column "," Joe Nocera of the New York Times pays a visit to the PIRG-backed , where he finds vision, idealism and people working to show that "government can make a difference in people’s lives."

50 Years Ago This Week, JFK Ushered in Modern Consumer Protection Era

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

I've got a new column at Huffington Post, "" I discuss President Kennedy's visionary "Special Message to the Congress on Protecting the Consumer Interest" announced on March 15, 1962. He declared that consumers have rights and government should protect them. Read the full column after the jump.

Congress in zombie-like push to weaken investor laws and other consumer news

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

After House passage of the mislabeled Jobs Act, action shifts to to the Senate in a misguided, PIRG-opposed bi-partisan effort to weaken investor protection laws. SF Chronicle financial columnist and the both rip the idea. While Congress appears trapped in a zombie-like fugue state, pretend zombies led by Iowa PIRG ( marched against nuclear power this weekend. All this and more consumer  news of the week, in case you missed it.

Has Congress Forgotten Enron, Dutch Tulip Bubble Scandals?

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

A misnamed package of legislation to weaken investor protection laws -- -- is speeding through the House this week. While some Senators are for parts of the package, the Senate is taking a closer look at whether rolling back the enacted after the Enron and related accounting scandals is really the way to go.

Some interesting consumer news of the week, in case you missed it

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

An occasional update featuring important consumer stories you may have missed this week. This week, Occupy Wall Street joins clarion call for CFPB to reform the credit bureaus...Leading consumer columnist Michelle Singletary calls Google's practices "creepy"...Massachusetts official says "take state's money out of banks that don't comply with state laws requiring free accounts for young/old...FCC wants comment on cellphone shutdowns that affect First Amendment rights...and more.

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Reporters are calling about BofA's , "Ed, what does it mean?" Meanwhile the CFPB says checking accounts can be "complex and confusing" and announced it is now  ready and waiting for . Find out more.

Rep. Keith Ellison: Opposing the CFPB is "nonsense"

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

In less than two minutes, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison gives a detailed history of the financial crisis and an impassioned defense of the CFPB, calling claims of its Congressional detractors "nonsense." from his opening statement at yesterday's hearing on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's budget. Ellison: "If your business model is not about bilking consumers,  you have nothing to worry about from the CFPB. But..."

CFPB's Cordray testifies today in House FSC

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

director Rich Cordray -- recess appointed by the president on January 4, continues his regular appearances before the Congress by testifying on the CFPB's budget (his (88 pages))  today before the at 10am Eastern. It should be webcast live at that link. Nearly all majority members of FSC oppose the CFPB's independent budget, even though all other bank regulators also have an independent budget, so we will see how it goes today.

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