Banks Demand New Consumer Agency Swallow Their Chocolate Salty Balls

Do you believe the sheer balls of these bastards? David Sirota:

In a very solid piece about what the fight over Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) is really about,ABC News includes this revealing snippet from the Financial Services Roundtable, one of the most powerful corporate front groups in Washington:

The financial industry, for its part, would like Obama to pick someone more likely to see their side of the issue, not just the consumers’ side.

“We believe the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should focus on both ends of the transaction,” said Scott Talbott, chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable in Washington.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the new agency is called the ConsumerFinancial Protection Bureau, it is not called the Bank Financial Protection Bureau (as, frankly, you might call the rest of the government). Indeed, the new agency’s whole mission is to protect consumers, meaning it shouldn’t “focus on both ends of the transaction.” It should see issues exclusively through the prism of consumers. That’s its very r’aison d’etre.

The fact that the banking industry, after winning so many concessions in the financial regulatory bill, is nonetheless now insisting that the miniscule consumer protection agency must be captured by financial interests – well, it’s certainly audacious but hardly surprising. Financial firms know that if they are able to crony-ize and thus capture an office with the “consumer protection” name, they will not only be able to control that office’s regulatory actions, but perhaps even have it stamp banks’ usurious behavior with a “consumer protection” seal of approval.

This is why the banks’ assault on Elizabeth Warren is so vehement – it represents both a defensive and offensive move. They want to prevent a savvy, eminently qualified and – here’s the key quality – genuinely independent regulator from being vested with power to oversee (or at least expose) the financial industry’s predatory business model. They also want to make sure that a crony gets the job – a crony who won’t blow the whistle on such predation and who therefore will effectively legitimize the financial status quo.

I don’t think that’s the whole story. Geithner and Bernanke et al have contructed a large and fragile house of cards that rests on the notion that we will all pretend that the banking system is fine — until it actually is fine, and then it’ll all be fine! In other for Warren to do this job as she sees fit, she’d have to acknowledge the financial instability of the banks, and they’re not going to stand for it. Nope.

In other words, they’re doubling down on the strategy that’s destroyed our economy.

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