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A New Lease? The Uncertain Political Future of Consumer Financial Protection

A New Lease? The Uncertain Political Future of Consumer Financial Protection

Chapter:
(p.219) 7 A New Lease? The Uncertain Political Future of Consumer Financial Protection
Source:
Democracy Declined
Author(s):
Mallory E. SoRelle
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226711829.003.0007

The conclusion, A New Lease: The CFPB and the Uncertain Future of Consumer Financial Protection Politics, considers how the U.S. political economy of credit shapes the broader politics of consumer financial protection and the prospects for future policy reform. The political economy of credit has induced a self-perpetuating cycle that forecloses on more borrower-friendly financial practices. Policymakers are motivated to rely on the status quo—information disclosures. This policy regime produces regulatory feedback effects that teach people that consumer financial protection lies entirely in the realm of the market, removing their incentives for political participation. Without receptive lawmakers or demanding citizens, public interest groups face a nearly impossible task convincing government officials to consider new methods of consumer financial protection regulation. The chapter considers whether the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will serve as a critical juncture, reshaping the future politics of consumer financial protection. I conclude that the CFPB alters the administrative environment sufficiently that it may improve prospects for public interest lobbying and boost citizen political engagement to support predatory lending reform, but only if its distinctive character survives political attacks.

Keywords:   political economy, credit, consumer financial protection, public interest group, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, lobbying, political participation, predatory lending, regulation

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