Fallout: The Financial Crisis

Cheese and the CFPA

Marketplace Staff Jun 19, 2009
Fallout: The Financial Crisis

Cheese and the CFPA

Marketplace Staff Jun 19, 2009

Paddy Hirsch: Hey Tess.

Vigeland: Paddy.

Hirsch: Something occurred to me. I was just listening to your interview there with Elizabeth Warren.

Vigeland: Oh yeah.

Hirsch: Well you know, I like to think in sort of lateral ways about these things.

Vigeland: I don’t have a white board in here, I’m sorry.

HOST: No, no it’s cool, it’s cool. I can do it sort of in a literative fashion by talking about cheese.

Vigeland: OK, Paddy Hirsch, Marketplace senior editor, commenting on my Elizabeth Warren interview.

Hirsch: Yeah, it’s about cheese.

Vigeland: Cheese.

Hirsch: Yeah, cheese. You like cheese, right?

Vigeland: I love cheese.

Hirsch: OK, yeah, Portland, it’s a big cheese producer these days.

Vigeland: Yes, Tillamook cheddar, one of my favorites

Hirsch: So, she’s talking about loan products and the control of the kind of loan products that come onto the market. And I was thinking about the ideal supermarket, stacked with cheese of all different varieties, from all around the world. And no control on what type of cheese, any type of cheese you want, you can put it in that supermarket and you can pick any old cheese that you want. Except though, this agency that they’re talking about is going to step in and say, “There are certain types of cheese that you can’t have.”

Vigeland: So this would be the FDA equivalent for the financial industry?

Hirsch: Exactly. It’s the financial products scientists in white coats that are going to be looking at all the cheese that come in, they’re going to have to have certain types of disclosure on these cheese, everybody knows what types of cheese there is or what the calories are, the calorie count.

And some of the cases with these cheeses — and this is a big concern of people on Wall Street in particular — they are worried that this agency is going to say there are certain types of cheeses — like the stinky cheese from France, you know the really young, unpasteurized one — that we are not going to allow on this supermarket shelf.

Vigeland: Well in the case of cheese, that’s a bummer. But in the case of an option arm mortgage, I’m not sure that would be a bummer.

Hirsch: Well, it may be if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t know one cheese from another or can’t tell the different between a Tillamook and Le Chevalier. But if you are a cheese connoisseur or a loan connoisseur, you might be pretty upset that you can’t have your full range of choice of cheese or loans.

Vigeland: Cheese and loans. Well thanks for coming in Paddy. Next time, please don’t do that before lunch.

Hirsch: I’m a bit peckish now. I haven’t got any crackers.

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