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Democracy Declined: The Failed Politics of Consumer Financial Protection

Democracy Declined: The Failed Politics of Consumer Financial Protection

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Democracy Declined: The Failed Politics of Consumer Financial Protection
Source:
Democracy Declined
Author(s):
Mallory E. SoRelle
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226711829.003.0001

Chapter one, Democracy Declined: The Failed Politics of Consumer Financial Protection, introduces the puzzling politics of consumer financial protection in the United States. It describes the expansion of American borrowing during the 20th century and reviews what scholars know and don’t know about the politics of credit, debt, and consumer financial protection. The chapter proposes a theory of regulatory feedback effects, arguing that the politics of U.S. consumer financial protection—from bureaucratic decision making to mass political behavior—are shaped by the historical development of consumer lending policies and the political reverberations those policies produced. This process of policy development and resulting policy feedback creates a political economy of credit in the United States that limits the prospects for predatory lending reform.

Keywords:   credit, predatory lending, regulation, consumer financial protection, policy feedback, political economy, political behavior, bureaucracy, policymaking

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