Federal Banking Regulatory Reform

Banking regulations can have a huge impact on the financial services options available to low-wealth communities and communities of color. Woodstock Institute educates community groups on regulatory issues and regularly comments on pending regulatory proposals.

September 24, 2009

In our fragmented regulatory system, agencies charged with overseeing banks lowered consumer protection standards in the interest of self-preservation, even as whole segments of the financial industry went unsupervised. 

September 11, 2009

A common banking industry argument against the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) is that the agency would restrict consumer choice. According to a new poll from the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), Americans have already made a choice: they want more financial protections—and a new federal agency to enforce them.

September 2, 2009

If most people made rational decisions to maximize their self-interest, as predicted by traditional economists, then everyone would have an emergency fund, accumulate adequate retirement savings, avoid payday loans, and be financially secure. The reality, as demonstrated by the growing research in behavioral economics, is that we often make emotional, short-sighted, and self-defeating financial decisions.

August 27, 2009

Think back to the last contract you signed. Did you read it all the way through? Even if you did, did you fully understand all of it? If not, you’re not alone. Recent research shows that consumers often rely on conversations with salespeople more than the content of a contract, a process which we believe has encouraged the development of deceptive-by-design financial products accompanied by incomprehensible fine print.

August 25, 2009

The Consumer Financial Protection Agency (H.R. 3126), the new financial watchdog proposed by the Obama administration and currently being debated in Congress, would have the authority to protect small businesses from risky, unregulated financial products. 

August 25, 2009

The Consumer Financial Protection Agency (H.R. 3126), the new financial watchdog proposed by the Obama administration and currently being debated in Congress, would have the authority to protect small businesses from risky, unregulated financial products. 

August 21, 2009

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and 23 other attorneys general sent a joint letter in support of H.R. 3126, which would create a new federal Consumer Financial Protection Agency, to Congressional leaders on the House and Senate banking committees on August 18.

August 18, 2009

American Casino, an expose of the mortgage foreclosure crisis, features revealing interviews with Wall Street power brokers and other major players, detailing how a vast fortune was built largely on the trust of lower-wealth and minority first-time home buyers whose lives and neighborhoods are now devastated.

August 17, 2009

I am troubled by the recent comment from JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon that creation of the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency would “hurt short-term profits,” but I am not surprised. It is likely that the loss of short-term profits that Mr. Dimon projects are due to changes required by recent credit card reforms, which were signed into law with bipartisan support in May 2009.

January 21, 2009

President Obama said in his inaugural speech today that “a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended … on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart….”  As we “begin again the work of remaking America,” we need to remember and apply some key messages from the speech to address the economic crisis.

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