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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

January 6, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Vote: The consumer protection agency

The abuses and reckless practices that caused the Great Recession led to precious few reforms. Only one has real teeth: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Its aim is to police mortgage, student loan and payday lenders to prevent the kinds of behavior exemplified by the likes of Countrywide Financial.

Congressional Republicans have vehemently opposed the agency (so has the “financial services” industry) as adding more regulation to an over-regulated sector, potentially holding back lending and meddling in the free market. They blocked Elizabeth Warren, who championed and started up the bureau, then did the same to President Obama’s next nominee, Richard Cordray. Obama made a recess appointment anyway, and the agency is getting going. Cordray promises to be a vigorous watchdog.

What do you think?

About the new consumer watchdog

Read on for the best links of the week and the haiku:

This Week’s Links:

  • Harder for Americans to rise from the lower rungs || NY Times
  • Study: How short-term house flippers made the bubble much, much worse || Slate
  • The 23 best countries for life-work balance || The Atlantic
  • Measuring long-term hardship in the labor market || CEPR
  • Leading indicators get an overhaul || Wall Street Journal
  • Romney plan would reduce tax revenue by 16 percent || Tax Policy Center
  • How government-funded job creation works || LA Times
  • Why has gold been down? || Zero Hedge
  • 13 ways to save the economy || Foreign Policy
  • Today’s Econ Haiku:

    A holiday gift

    Real job growth is picking up

    There’s much to pick up

    Comments | More in Banking, Consumer protection

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    The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


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