Skip to comments.EDITORIAL: Consumer destruction--Keep bureaucrats away from our credit cards
Posted on 11/20/2009 11:52:14 AM PST by jazusamo
As if hyperactive Washington politicians haven't already grabbed enough power by taking over banks and car companies and trying to control everybody's health care, now they are getting closer to centralized bureaucratic control of the entire consumer credit market. Pending legislation to create a superpowerful Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) would take an ax to financial freedom and significantly increase consumer costs.
That's not what most people would call "protection."
The bill already has made it through the House Financial Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat. It is expected to reach the House floor shortly after Thanksgiving. However, because so much attention has been focused on health care, this threat to consumer freedom has evaded the greater public scrutiny it deserves.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Texas Republican, has led opposition to the bill. In a July 22 Op-Ed column in this newspaper, he wrote: "H.R. 3126 would create a new bureaucracy run by five unelected individuals appointed by the president. ... This agency would possess sweeping powers to ban or modify any home mortgage, credit card, personal loan or other 'consumer financial product' it subjectively deems to be 'unfair' or 'abusive.' If the mortgage that would allow you to be a homeowner is deemed 'unfair,' you'd better find another one. If the credit card you choose for your family is 'abusive,' you might find yourself paying cash."
As the Chamber of Commerce notes in a document detailing its "concerns" about the proposal, the bill contains language that "makes it 'unlawful for any person' to engage in any unfair, deceptive or abusive act or practice. These provisions impose broad liability on anyone - not just a 'covered person' - anytime the CFPA determines that person's conduct is unfair, deceptive or abusive, even if no regulation is in place...
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Washington is largely responsible for the current situation for their incredibly stupid decision to re-regulate but give the banks 18 months of carte-blanche time to do what they want before the rules kick in. Even a reasonably attentive labrador retriever could have guess what would happen next.
That being said though, people are getting screwed on their existing balances, and the Democrats smell a chance to make some Populist hay here.
Yeah but while they are making populist hay, they are going to ultimately screw up the credit card industry.