Elizabeth Warren Outlines Her Vision For Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Hours after it was announced that Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren would be named a special advisor to President Obama in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she took to the White House blog to share the broad strokes about the new agency.

She writes:

The new consumer bureau is based on a pretty simple idea: people ought to be able to read their credit card and mortgage contracts and know the deal. They shouldn’t learn about an unfair rule or practice only when it bites them–way too late for them to do anything about it. The new law creates a chance to put a tough cop on the beat and provide real accountability and oversight of the consumer credit market. The time for hiding tricks and traps in the fine print is over. This new bureau is based on the simple idea that if the playing field is level and families can see what’s going on, they will have better tools to make better choices.

If the CFPB can succeed at leveling the playing field, we can go a long way toward repairing a gaping hole in the budgets of millions of families. But nobody has ever thought or argued that the consumer bureau can fix everything. Lost jobs, stagnant incomes, rising costs for college, dwindling retirement savings–there’s a lot of work to be done.

Fighting to Protect Consumers [WhiteHouse.gov]

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  1. wrjohnston91283 says:

    American Express card agreements are actually already pretty easy to read. I just got a new card agreement and noticed that each paragraph has a heading at the left that describes what that paragraph is about, and each paragraph is written in pretty understandable English. I was wondering if it was some new thing, but my old agreement from a couple of years ago was written the same way.

  2. two_handed_economist says:

    I’m tired of this puffery. Tell me something useful:

    What powers does she have without first getting a bill through Congress?

    And with those powers, what products is she planning modify, outlaw, or potentially create? Which contracts will she try to rewrite? Which reporting rules will she change? Surely, she has long had a list of ideas. What specific actions has she said she will take? When?

    • RogueWarrior65 says:

      She has the power to draw an obscene salary and flap her gums for two more years without actually accomplishing anything.

  3. alstein says:

    Sounds good. I’d have to see if she gets to have any teeth though- and I”m sure Republicans will try a lot of things to keep her out of the position.

  4. parkj238 says:

    Am really looking forward to hearing more from Ms. Warren

  5. perkonkrusts says:

    While I admit that both my mortgage and credit card contracts both have a bajillion words in them, I’ve always been able to easily find the most important parts (rate, term, pre-payment, annual fee, etc.). I’ve never once found a vital portion of these contracts buried in fine print somewhere, they’ve always been prominently displayed. Having said that, I’ve never read either of them in their entirety, so maybe I’ve unknowingly sold my soul. Hopefully to rock and roll.

  6. cmdr.sass says:

    Lots of buzzwords in that statement – accountability, oversight, level the playing field, work to be done, but what teeth with this bureau really have?

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Warren 2016!

  8. flacoman954 says:

    Talk is cheap…

  9. RogueWarrior65 says:

    Nobody can force people to read a contract. Most people don’t read them anyway and then whine when they get screwed. It all boils down to Personal Responsibility. Far too many people are devoid of that value. “Whaaaa!!!! I work at Taco Bell and the bank is throwing me out of my 5000 sq ft home!!! It’s not FAIR!!!!” “Whaaaaa!!!! What do you mean I have to PAY for everything I charge on my credit card!?!? It’s not FAIR!!!!”

    • ghostberry says:

      yes, thanks for summing up “most people” im assuming you exclude yourself from that category as a much better person. Your data rocks.