THE BLOG

No Need for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

08/03/2011 03:08 pm ET | Updated Oct 03, 2011

Stop Duplication -- Eliminate the Consumer Agency

There is no need for a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It is another unnecessary, costly, and cumbersome government bureaucracy that cannot be justified on a cost/benefit basis.

Adequate consumer protection can be achieved through existing government entities and the courts by the simple restoration, modification, and enforcement of former consumer protections that have been eliminated, weakened, and/or undermined as a result of undue influence by the financial sector on corrupt or susceptible elected officials and political parties pandering for campaign contributions. (This further illustrates the need for campaign reform that would: ban any and all gifts or campaign contributions to any elected official, candidate, and political party from any and all sources; provide equal public financing to qualified candidates and/or incumbents commensurate with the office sought; limit the campaign season; cap spending; mandate the return to the respective government funding source of all campaign financing not legitimately or appropriately spent; and disqualify any candidate and impose severe criminal and civil penalties for non-compliance by donors and/or recipients."

All that is necessary to protect consumers is to:

  1. Reinstate former usury laws (7 to 8% maximum interest);
  2. Restore former individual bankruptcy protections (including Judicial cram-downs for residential mortgages);
  3. Limit the exhorbitant banking and credit card fees and penalties;
  4. Require complete transparency and simple, understandable, and uniform agreements in all categories of transactions (similar to standardized and simplified Blumberg legal forms);
  5. Impose severe civil and criminal penalties for fraud and non-compliance (which would effectively dissuade improper behavior);
  6. And revoke the licenses or franchises of repeat corporate offenders and ban their principals from employment in these fields.

Harry L. Langer, NYC -- harrylanger@hllanger.com