Fresh off months reporting on the debate surrounding the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Tim Fernholz has turned his experience into a new policy paper addressing many of the questions that still linger about the CFPB: What is it's purpose? It's basic structure? It's tools? Potential? Priorities?
"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Tools, Transitions, and Choices" is a sharp, succinct look at what the CFPB can do and should do in it's opening months. A helpful guide for outsiders trying to understand what the still assembling staff of the CFPB is facing as they work to stand up this new agency.
Here's Tim in his own words on the paper's purpose:
Title X of the Dodd-Frank bill, the Consumer Protection Act, lays the foundation for this new agency. While the idea of a federal office specifically dedicated to consumer finance has been kicked around by policymakers for decades, experience with pernicious mortgage loans in the nineties and then through the housing bubble during the early years of the 21st century brought the idea back to the front of the public debate. Following the financial crisis, as Congress took up the task of reinforcing financial regulation, consumer advocates focused their efforts on making the agency a reality. After nearly a year of debate and negotiation, and despite objections from the industry, the CFPB has been established. This report will discuss exactly what Title X empowers the Bureau to do and what the Bureau’s initial staff can do to begin using those tools to their fullest potential.
Read the whole thing.