Looking Out For Consumers
I'll give you a specific example. For the first time in history, the reforms that we passed put in place a consumer watchdog [the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)] who is charged with protecting everyday Americans from being taken advantage of by mortgage lenders or payday lenders or debt collectors. And the man we nominated for the post, Richard Cordray, is a former Attorney General of Ohio who has the support of most attorney-generals, both Democrat and Republican, throughout the country. Nobody claims he's not qualified.
But the Republicans in the Senate refused to confirm him for the job; they refuse to let him do his job. Why? Does anybody here think that the problem that led to our financial crisis was too much oversight of mortgage lenders or debt collectors?
Of course not. Every day we go without a consumer watchdog is another day when a student, or a senior citizen, or a member of our Armed Forces - because they are very vulnerable to some of this stuff - could be tricked into a loan but they can't afford - something that happens all the time. And the fact is that financial institutions have plenty of lobbyists looking out for their interests. Consumers deserve to have someone whose job it is to look out for them. And I intend to make sure they do. And I want you to hear me, Kansas: I will veto any effort to delay or defund or dismantle the new rules that we put in place.
We shouldn't be weakening oversight and accountability. We should be strengthening oversight and accountability. I'll give you another example. Too often, we’ve seen Wall Street firms violating major anti fraud laws because the penalties are too weak and there's no price for being a repeat offender. No more. I'll be calling for legislation that makes those penalties count so that firms don't see punishment for breaking the law as just the price of doing business.
(Extracted from a speech given by President Barack Obama on 6 Dec 2011 at Osawatomie High School in Osawatomie, Kansas.
In 1910, Teddy Roosevelt came here to Osawatomie and he laid out his vision for what he called a New Nationalism. “Our country,” he said,” ... means nothing unless it means the triumph of a real democracy … of an economic system under which each man should be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him."
In November 2017, Richard Cordray, the head of the CFPB resigned. He attempted to name his own replacement. That didn't go over well with President Trump, who quickly named his own candidate for the job. In the days ahead the the future direction of this valuable agency which was championed by Senator Elizabeth Warren will be decided.)
26 Nov 2017