The subprime crisis showed that federal banking regulators cannot be relied on to put consumer safety over the interests of regulated banks. This chapter evaluates whether the Dodd-Frank Act achieves the goals that are critical to consumer protection. The Dodd-Frank Act transfers most of the responsibility for consumer financial protection from federal banking regulators to a new, dedicated agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Act empowers the CFPB to establish rules for many aspects of mortgage lending. It also allows the states to protect consumers over and above the standards set by federal law. The chapter argues that although the Dodd-Frank takes bold steps toward protecting consumers, with the ultimate effect of reducing the threat of systemic risk, the consumer protection reforms do not eliminate that threat altogether.
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