Recently, on this blog, Jeff Sovern went after George Will's attack on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, rightly noting that the CFPB's exercise of its regulatory and enforcement powers generally are not terribly different from what regulatory agencies have been doing for decades. Now, Jean Braucher has posted this extensive response to Will's piece. In doing so, she discusses the CFPB's power to go after not only practices that are "deceptive" and "unfair," but those that are "abusive" as well. She notes that
we shouldn't oppose new, smarter regulation because “developed law” does
not define it. But to get real, the CFPB's anti-abuse authority is
actually well defined in a data-driven way, the signature method of the
CFPB. The abuse concept is based on a wealth of social science
literature documenting the credit industry’s science of exploiting
consumer error stemming from standard human cognitive biases.