A larger role for consumer protection

Stacey Vanek Smith Mar 1, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

A larger role for consumer protection

Stacey Vanek Smith Mar 1, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Major legislation for financial reform is working its way through Congress. One of the biggest sticking points in the Senate is this question of an independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency. It would oversee consumer financial products like credit cards and mortgages. Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek-Smith has the story.


Stacey Vanek-Smith: The financial regulation bill pumps up oversight and gives the federal government a larger role in regulating financial products like securities and derivatives. But the bill doesn’t do enough to police things like credit cards and mortgage loans, says Heather McGhee with progressive think tank Demos:

Heather McGhee: We need a new federal regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, who’s going to have its sole mission be to protect consumers.

Right now, the agency that protects consumers also protects the financial soundness of banks. Critics say creating a separate agency is overkill, and the White House is beginning to back away from the idea.

Travis Plunkett is with the Consumer Federation of America:

Travis Plunkett: The consumer protection needs to be independent of the regulators who are safety and soundness of financial institutions. They have become entirely too cozy with the banks they regulate.

An independent consumer agency is part of the House bill right now. The Senate Banking Committee is expected to reach an agreement about the agency this week.

I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.