Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Revised GOP bill would destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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The GOP really does not care about consumers; the objects of its concern and protection are big businesses. And any agency that protects consumers from big businesses must go, in the eyes of the GOP. David Lazarus reports in the LA Times:

Give Rep. Jeb Hensarling this much credit: He’s persistent. And he’s not afraid to completely bend the truth in pursuit of weakening consumer safeguards.

Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has made it his mission to roll back reforms put in place after the financial-services industry brought the global economy to the brink of collapse. High on his to-do list is crippling the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to the point where it’s a consumer watchdog in name only.

The Texas Republican shared a memo with other lawmakers last week outlining changes he plans to make to his so-called Financial CHOICE Act, as in “Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs.” Impressively, he’s managed to make a bad bill even worse.

Even more impressively, Hensarling is portraying himself as a consumer champion, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

“True consumer protection puts power in the hands of consumers, not Washington bureaucrats,” he wrote in a blog post. “True consumer protection promotes competition and choice and ensures that consumers have access to transparent and innovative markets that are vigorously policed for fraud and deception.”

Note how Hensarling is deftly having it both ways. On the one hand, consumers are protected by “competition and choice” in “transparent and innovative markets.” That is, consumers have nothing to worry about because companies will be bending over backward fighting for their business.

On the other hand, he admits that the marketplace needs to be “vigorously policed for fraud and deception,” which is, of course, precisely what the CFPB is charged with doing.

Plus, as you’ll see, Hensarling’s bill would prevent the bureau from doing just that — policing the market for fraud and deception.

So he’s saying strong regulation of companies is a necessity but at the same time wants less regulation of companies.

I don’t know how that works, but it sounds a lot like President Trump saying last week, in regards to U.S. policy on North Korea, that “going it alone means going with lots of other nations.”

Before we get to the meat-and-potatoes of Hensarling’s revamped legislation, let’s recall our last visit with the Financial Services Committee chairman. This was a couple of weeks ago when I reported that this paragon of consumer advocacy is in fact a lapdog of the financial-services industry.

Since he first ran for Congress in 2003, Hensarling, 59, has received $1.3 million in political donations from commercial banks, $1.4 million from securities and investment firms, $1.4 million from insurers, and $703,304 from finance and credit companies, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Of all House members who ran for reelection last year, he was the second-largest recipient of contributions from commercial banks ($274,900), topped only by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan ($344,399). . .

Continue reading.

Do read the rest. If the GOP can possibly manage consumers will get no more protection than the environment.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 April 2017 at 4:16 pm

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