Who's Watching Wall Street?

Oct 30, 2017

With guest host John Donvan.

It’s been nearly a decade since the financial crash that caused the Great Recession. In that time, the federal government stepped in to try to help stabilize the markets (remember those bank bailouts?) and shield consumers from negative effects by calling for companies to rein in bad practices.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was established in 2011 to oversee the effort to make the financial sector more responsible and transparent. Now, the CFPB has suffered a major blow to its mission.

With an assist from Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Republicans voted to overturn a new rule that allowed for people to participate in class-action lawsuits against financial institutions. This means the the millions of Americans who were affected by the Equifax breach or the Wells Fargo fraud scheme cannot bring action as a group. Such matters will be sent to forced arbitration instead.

What else does this mean? Well, for one thing, if you didn’t read the fine print of consumer contracts before, you might want to get in the habit. Could we soon see a full loosening of regulations on Wall Street … and a return to the behavior that led to the last financial crisis?


Renae Merle, Reporter covering Wall Street and white collar crime, The Washington Post; @renaemerle

James R. Copland, Senior fellow and director for legal policy, Manhattan Institute; @JamesRCopland

Lisa Gilbert, Vice president for legislative affairs for Public Citizen; @Lisa_PubCitizen

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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