As Elizabeth Warren says, Dodd/Frank and the creation of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau were the FIRST instance of a federal agency set up to assist individuals. All others were/are dedicated to serving corporate interests. After all, the USA is a corporate entity, as are all the states, counties and municipalities.
The Constitution outlines how agents of government are to function. Individual natural persons are presumed to be moral. When they are dissatisfied or perceive an injustice, they are expected to lodge complaints. Otherwise, in the interest of providing for the general welfare, agents of government are assigned duties and obligations which are to be elaborated and clarified by Congress. Congress is also tasked with managing the federal currency. Before the Civil War some states issued their own currency. Now none do. North Dakota has a state bank but uses the federal currency.
About 1919, after many decades of controversy over paper money and the use of gold as a basis for the currency’s value, Congress was persuaded by some financiers that Congress could not be trusted with managing the currency and set up a compromise institution as a middleman—i.e. the Federal Reserve Bank was chartered by Congress in perhaps the first example of privatizing governmental obligations.
While the overt argument was that the Federal Reserve Bank would be more objective, not swayed by regional or state interests, there was pretense that individual citizens were to be better served. Indeed, as a quasi-private entity, the reality was that privacy would trump public interest and the financiers who could requisition currency at will would enjoy a greater level of autonomy in managing something that has no intrinsic value. If the currency was to have value, it would have to be kept desirable and scarce. Banks would ensure that.
An awareness that the collection and distribution of currency by banks was having unfair consequences, which are hard to specify because bank private records are secret led to the Community Reinvestment Act being passed subsequent to other so-called civil rights legislation. However, the CRA was weak soup and only called for communities having a look at investment decisions by financial institutions that might not be meeting their needs. Even that much exposure to public review proved too great a burden and banks preferred to buy offf those who brought suit seeking information (ACORN), rather than open their records to revue.
Came then Dodd/Frank and under the guise of expanding health insurance company revenues with subsidies set up a complex regulatory regime which, for the first time, requires all banks and insurers (a major source of investment funds) to file regular reports and adjust their operations to comport with standards the EU had already adopted. How did that get passed? The Republicans in Congress wore themselves out opposing the Affordable Care Act and did not read Dodd/Frank. And whose idea was the subjugation of the financiers to public inspection? Elizabeth Warren.
Wall Street knows. Banksters still have not recovered from the crash they engineered in 2008. Having their operations inspected keeps them from being reckless like they used to be. Has anybody noticed that cyclical recessions that used to be routine seem to have come to a halt? Why would some financial players engineer failures? Because one man’s failure is another’s opportunity in the GWB “opportunity society.” GWB’s cousins, btw, are big in banking in the St. Louis area where, btw, there is also a world trade center.
The free market is not free. It likes regulation, but only the kind that supports a regular growing income for the money men, people who make a career playing with worthless paper. ‘Cause you know, ever since Nixon cut the bands to gold, dollars are just IOUs guaranteed by the labor of me and you.