Rolling Back Wall Street Regulations
Last night, after several hours of debate, the senate voted 51-50 to block new regulations designed by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. When you sign up for a credit card, within the fine print is language that requires customers to settle any dispute through arbitration rather than a class-action lawsuit. This is designed to protect the banks from having to go to court and have their indiscretions aired publicly. It also saves them a great deal of money; an arbitration is much less costly than a class-action suit.
Democrats and consumer groups in particular targeted Wells Fargo and Equifax when laying out the need for these regulations. As you may remember, Wells Fargo has come under fire for opening millions of sham accounts under customers' names and Equifax is still being investigated after a hack affected over 145 million people.
The proposed regulation was met with harsh backlash by the Treasury Department and the Office of the Comptroller, which I always thought was a made-up word grown-ups threw around to sound smart - but turns out it's real. Both groups are led by Trump nominees.
The debate over the proposed regulations highlights the ongoing feud between Wall Street affiliates and those advocating for the every man. It's worth pointing out that GOP Wall Street-ers almost single-handedly shut this proposal down, despite many of the same Senators critiquing Hillary for her Wall Street ties during the 2016 election. Trump has been eager to sign his name to more orders that roll back Obama-era regulation of the financial sector, and the CFPB has been a major target. After all, the CFPB was created post 2008 crash as a way to ensure accountability on Wall Street.
It's also worth mentioning that Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker both voted to kill the new rules, despite Flake's historic speech condemning the president on the Senate floor yesterday and Corker's recent denouncements.