by Jeff Sovern
More here. We can expect that the senators will attempt to outdo each other in attacking Mr. Smith, but that some will still try to protect Equifax when the cameras are off, by weakening regulators (as some members of Congress are attempting to do in the House-passed Financial Choice Act, by eliminating the CFPB's UDAAP powers), or creating roadblocks to bringing class actions (as many of the same members are trying to do by eliminating the CFPB's arbitration rule). I wonder what tone Mr. Smith will strike. Perhaps he will attempt to mollify consumers in some way. The same committee is to hear from the Wells Fargo CEO the preceding day, in a hearing titled Wells Fargo: One Year Later. That hearing may include some praise for settling the class action but also some criticism for other Wells Fargo problems. I hope some senators ask Mr. Sloan to justify Wells's invocation of its arbitration clauses in some cases but not in the class action in which the unauthorized account scandal has been settled. While the CEOs are the only witnesses named for the hearings thus far, others could yet be added.