Big Business Fights Consumer Protection

Key to the Obama administration's proposal for financial industry reform is the establishment of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The proposed agency would "have a broad mandate to cover the spectrum of consumer financial products and to fill gaps in current regulations." Not surprisingly, big business is fighting back. "I think when people read this, they will be shocked about the incredibly broad delegation of power," said the American Bankers Association's Edward Yingling. An executive with the Financial Services Roundtable worried, "If you argue against the agency, then you could be incorrectly painted as arguing against consumer protection." Americans for Financial Reform -- a new coalition including AARP, AFL-CIO, ACORN, Consumers Union, Political Action and Public Citizen -- would presumably agree, except for the word "incorrectly." A coalition statement reads, "Opposition to the Agency from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street bankers and the financial services industry is a slap in the face to the millions of Americans who played by the rules and got burned." The Hill reported that the financial industry groups opposing Obama's proposal are considering the services of a number of PR firms including Powell Tate, Vox Global, Goddard Claussen and Direct Impact.