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Friday, July 16, 2010

The New Bank Bill

One thing that is holding the economy down is the uncertainty about what the government will do to us next. This bill isn't helping as far as I can tell. Any time the government does anything people are worried.

Link 1

This bill would create a "Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection" whatever that is. It sounds frightening to me. Something out of 1984. I'm sure the government will do all sorts of things for us for our own "protection".

From the article:
One of the candidates often mentioned for the top consumer spot is Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law School professor who was among the first to suggest the creation of an agency to safeguard consumers in their financial transactions.
If the part I highlighted in red isn't enough to disqualify her from having any position in government then I don't know what would.

This entire bill is rooted in the idea that the vast majority of people in this nation are too stupid to look after their own affairs. After seeing how many people voluntarily signed up for ARMs to buy more house than they could afford (and paid more for the house than it was worth) there may be some truth to that. However, it is not really the government's job to make financial decisions for people.

Here is another frightening part:
The Fed has until April to derive standards to measure the fairness of fees charged by banks to merchants for customers who use debit cards.
Seems to me that the standard for "fairness" should be that if a bank tries to charge me more for a service than I think it is worth I'll either find another bank or stay at the same bank but not use the service.

I've got a great idea. Why don't we have a new federal bureau that would derive standards to measure the fairness of how new and used car dealers treat customers?

On a more serious note, how about a new federal bureau to derive standards on how fairly the IRS and BATF treat citizens of the United States of America?

Probably the most frightening part of this is contained in this quote of Senate Banking Committee Chris Dodd:

"This bill directs the regulators to do things," he said in an interview. "We leave to the regulators how best to achieve the goals, but the goals are clear. Congress is not a regulator."
Like most federal legislation which authorizes someone to create regulations there seems to be no limit on what the regulations do. After this goes horribly wrong congress can sit back and say "It's not our fault. We didn't write the regulations."

Now for comments on another article on this scary bill. Here is link 2.

This one pulls no punches. First paragraph:
Congress approved a rewrite of rules touching every corner of finance, from ATM cards to Wall Street traders, in the biggest expansion of government power over banking and markets since the Depression.
Every time I turn around this administration and this congress are pushing for another expansion into every aspect of our lives. Enough already!!

I've got a new goal for congress:

Don't do ANYTHING!!!

I figure I'll start small and work my way up to the big things like undoing most of the federal laws past over the last century.

I don't think this bill is going to improve anything, except the for the people who are hired by the federal government to design and implement this monstrosity. Those people will get their money from your paycheck.

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