Now that financial reform legislation is headed for the final stretch of congressional debate, ordinary Americans are wondering, "What does it mean for me?"
The best place to get an answer to that fundamental question is to ask Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard Law School professor who has been a powerful voice for consumers on the front lines of the financial reform effort, landing on the front page of Time Magazine, and numerous other publications, in the process. Her common sense defense of American families and the middle class, as well as her ability to explain what is happening, makes perfect sense.
On July 2, 2010, Warren issued a statement, explaining her view of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which she herself had a strong role in forming. "They created a strong, independent consumer agency that will have the tools to rein in industry tricks and traps and to cut out the fine print. For the first time, there will be a financial regulator in Washington watching out for families instead of banks."
Elizabeth Warren's name is on the short list of President Obama's nominees to lead that new agency. He could hardly find a more qualified candidate, with a common touch and perfect sense.
In an interview that appears in today's Huffington Post online, Professor Warren talks about the difficulty consumers have in making informed credit choices, "Today, the big banks churn out page after page of incomprehensible fine print to obscure the cost and risks of checking accounts, credit cards, mortgages and other financial products. The result is that consumers can't make direct product comparisons, markets aren't competitive, and costs are higher."
On the relationship between financial reform and our economic future, she adds, "If the playing field is leveled and the broken market fixed, a lot more money will stay in the pockets of millions of hard-working families. That's real stimulus -- money to families, without increasing our national debt." For the full text of the HuffPost interview, and to learn where financial reform stands today, click here.