Former FDIC Head Sheila Bair on the CFPB

Bair has a new book out, and so has been the subject of some media attention.  CNN/Money interviewed her and among the questions was an exchange about the CFPB.  Her reply: 

I support the Bureau, and I also strongly endorse it in the book.  And I think they’re doing a good job.  I am, if I have one little complaint, and I do have one little complaint, it is that the rules are still too long and complex.  . . .  I think consumers can Bull_by_the_horns_coverunderstand what their rights and protections are.  Smaller banks have basically gotten out of consumer finance because it’s just too hard.  The compliance costs are just too hard.  . . .

But they’re ramping up.  Finally somebody is examining the non-bank sector, and establishing more of an enforcement presence there, which I think is very important.  And I think they are sending a strong signal to regulated banks as well, but in a way that seems to me, the cases I’ve seen, are very much justified and in line with their mandate.  So, I don’t for the life of me understand why there is this continued controversy and turmoil over the Consumer Bureau.  We did not do a good job protecting consumers of financial products leading up to the crisis.  So, it just didn’t happen.  And having a bureau that specifically focused on that I think is a positive thing, and over time it will prove itself.

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