June 25, 2010 |
Scrambling to meet an end-of-the-week deadline, House and Senate negotiators worked into early Friday in a marathon session to complete the most far-reaching rewrite of financial rules since the Depression. Lawmakers were on the verge of agreeing on the creation of a new agency to protect consumers in the financial marketplace, although most auto dealers would be exempt from its oversight. Members of the joint House and Senate conference committee also agreed to limit risky investments by banks, a provision known as the Volcker rule.
May 25, 2010 |
Reporting from Washington As Congress formally began the process of merging Senate and House versions of massive financial regulatory overhaul legislation, the Senate on Monday voted to instruct its negotiators to largely exempt auto dealers from oversight by a new government agency designed to protect consumers from shady lending. The House included such an exemption in its version passed in December. But auto dealers and their supporters were not able to get a vote on such an exemption in the Senate.
March 16, 2010 |
With memories of the financial crisis already fading, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd tried to jump-start the stalled effort to pass a major regulatory overhaul this year that would protect the public from another economic meltdown. Dodd's latest version of the legislation, unveiled Monday, is more modest than the ambitious ideas President Obama called for a year ago, but it still would be the most sweeping financial reforms since the Great Depression. With the Connecticut Democrat unable to secure any Republican support after weeks of intense negotiations -- and with the legislative clock winding down -- he warned that senators needed to act soon to prevent a financial fiasco from again severely shaking U.S. and world markets.
March 15, 2010 |
Legislation to be unveiled Monday by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd to overhaul the financial regulatory system is likely to be more modest than either the Obama administration's proposal last summer or a plan Dodd pushed last fall. Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, was set to release detailed legislation for the most sweeping overhaul of financial regulations since the Great Depression, which Democrats want to pass before the fall elections. Tightening federal oversight of the financial system is designed to prevent a repeat of the banking-system meltdown in 2008 and is a priority of President Obama.
March 2, 2010 |
President Obama may be forced to accept a watered-down version of his proposed consumer protection agency to get a sweeping overhaul of financial regulations approved by Congress. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) is circulating a proposal that would scrap plans for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which Obama has touted as crucial to protecting consumers from predatory mortgages, credit cards and other products. He and administration officials say the agency is key to avoiding a repeat of the financial crisis that rocked the country in 2008.
February 22, 2010 |
New federal credit card rules that took effect Monday outlaw the most egregious industry practices, such as retroactive interest rate increases and hidden fees, that have cost customers billions of dollars a year. But Obama administration officials and consumer advocates said the landmark provisions needed to be followed by the creation of a regulatory agency that can ensure that the new standards are enforced and that can quickly rein in any new unfair fees or practices. "Now that these really strong rules are in place, we need a strong agency to enforce them," said Pedro Morillas, consumer advocate for the California Public Interest Research Group.
February 6, 2010 |
The Obama administration's attempts to enact the most sweeping overhaul of financial regulations hit another obstacle Friday as Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) said that talks to craft a bipartisan bill had stalled and that he would draft his own bill. "While I still hope that we will ultimately have a consensus package, it is time to move the process forward," Dodd said. He has been in negotiations with the top Republican on the committee, Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, in hopes of drawing GOP support for the overhaul.
February 2, 2010 |
President Obama's focus, we're now told, is on jobs, jobs, jobs. That's nifty, but it doesn't bode well for other big-ticket policy goals, such as creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to safeguard us from abusive bank practices. That idea, which Obama championed and leading Democratic lawmakers embraced, is now expected to be a long shot thanks to ferocious opposition by the banking industry, which says no additional regulatory oversight is needed. No? Here's an economic statistic that suggests otherwise: The number of credit card solicitations mailed to consumers rose during the last three months of 2009 for the first time in three years, according to Mintel Comperemedia, a Chicago market-research firm.
December 20, 2009 |
Had there been a federal watchdog consumer protection agency on duty during the early years of this decade, could it have prevented the housing boom and bust that put millions of homeowners into foreclosure and sucked trillions of dollars of equity wealth from just about everybody else? Nobody can answer that question. But when the House passed the massive Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on Dec. 11, Congress took the first step toward creating a national watchdog for home buyers and mortgage borrowers for any future boom cycles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 2009 |
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed a new director of the Department of Consumer Affairs, filling an opening created after the last director resigned amid disclosures about expenses she charged to taxpayers, including transportation to attend a Justin Timberlake concert with her daughter. Brian J. Stiger, 50, who has held positions with several consumer-oriented state boards and agencies, including the chiropractor board and Bureau of Home Furnishing and Thermal Insulation, has been named to run the department.