The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created simply to give consumers a fighting chance against rapacious banking practices that trashed our economy and depleted the wealth of countless Americans. It monitors the financial markets for risks to consumers, handles consumer complaints, promotes financial education and enforces existing financial laws.
The sad fact is, here we are five years out since the economy sunk under the burden of toxic loans and other dubious practices. Banks were bailed out; Wall Street is doing just fine now, thank you. But most of us are still living with the wreckage caused in large part by atrocious banking practices: Foreclosures scar numerous neighborhoods, and equity has been drained out of homes.
What we need is a "fighting chance" against the government's rapacious power grab.
I left these comments:
Statist government apologists continue to peddle the Big Lie to power their big government agenda. But, all of the facts point to government as the primary culprit in the financial meltdown.
No, I don't mean alleged "deregulation." I mean the massive regulation and political interference in the banking and mortgage industries. The Fed, FDIC, CRA, Fannie & Freddie and their implied federal mortgage guarantees, the legally protected rating agency cartel, FHA, SEC, FASB accounting regulations, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the politicians' "affordable" housing crusade that pulled it all together into a perfect financial storm are the culprits. Government regulation and political intervention into the markets greatly increased under Clinton and Bush, causing the crisis. Obama's policies exacerbated the problems, dragging out and weakening the recovery.
The idea that "rapacious banking practices"--greed--is to blame is so dopey and childish as to be embarrassing. Greed has always existed on Wall Street, in banking, and every other walk of life. Yet, we are to believe that suddenly and inexplicably, greed rose up in the late 1990s and 2000s to trash the economy, overturning time-tested sound lending standards and turning home mortgages from the soundest type of loan into a crap-shoot. GIVE ME A BREAK! Yet we get more, not less, government control: Dodd-Frank, named after two of the leading culprits!!
Fortunately, the truth is out there. Thomas Sowell (The Housing Boom and Bust) and, especially, John A. Allison (The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure) are two good sources. Allison ran BB&T for 3 decades, including through the buildup to and during that entire crisis. It's a fascinating inside account of how politics corrupted and sunk the economy.
How a Banker Avoided Ruin by Cleaving to Ayn Rand's System of Ethics, by Mark Hemingway