In her Washington Post/Bloomberg column, Michelle Singletary applauds President Barack Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray as the new federal consumer watchdog. She says that he should play the role of an older sibling to protect consumers from bullying.
That’s how I see the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: as a protector of consumers from the punches of bullying financial companies. And it’s what I expect from the new director, Richard Cordray. The agency, under his lead, is supposed to be the big brother (or sister) consumers need to enforce federal consumer financial protection laws and, if necessary, create rules that will head off unfair, deceptive or abusive financial practices and products.
Maybe it’s too much to hope that a federal bureaucracy can beat back the many bullies who for too long have taken advantage of consumers, even those who should know better. But we have to try. Credit products today are so complicated that someone has to step in as a watchdog.
I spoke to Cordray, the former attorney general of Ohio, about his plans for the bureau. He might have started off softly, considering the controversy over the legitimacy of his recess appointment by President Obama. Senate Republicans tried to block all efforts by Obama to appoint someone to head the agency. But, like shooing away gnats, Cordray isn’t letting the gripes about his appointment deflect from his ability to do his job.
“I’m not going to let it affect our effectiveness,” Cordray said.
Read Michelle Singletary’s entire column at Washington Post/Bloomberg.