Banks' Lobbying Blitz a Betrayal of Public Trust

After toppling economy, Wall St. now opposes consumer protections?
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2010 8:50 AM CST
Banks' Lobbying Blitz a Betrayal of Public Trust
Congressional Oversight Panel Chair Elizabeth Warren conducts a hearing on the Troubled Assets Relief program (TARP), Wednesday, June 24, 2009, on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

“Banking is based on trust,” Elizabeth Warren argues in the Wall Street Journal, yet lately banks have “thrown away customer trust like so much worthless trash.” After ripping off the public for years with deceptive mortgages and credit card tricks, they’re now lobbying furiously against the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, a watchdog that would root out gimmicks and simplify paperwork, “giving families a fighting chance to hang on to some of their money.”

Their latest lie is that the CFPA would be “big government.” But the banks “all know that the current regulatory structure, which they support, is big government at its worst: bureaucratic, unaccountable and ineffective.” The CFPA would actually consolidate several bureaucracies, all while stabilizing the market and rebuilding confidence. But the banks don’t want stabilization. They want to ride the boom-bust cycle forever, no matter the damage to their shareholders, customers, and reputations. (More Elizabeth Warren stories.)

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