FROM Amar Bhide
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Hero or Goat? Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took its first major enforcement action since it began operating a year ago, ordering Capital One Bank to refund about $150 million to two million credit card customers. Bureau Director Richard Cordray says Capital One's telephone vendors used deceptive marketing to sell add-ons like credit monitoring and debt protection. Americans have lost confidence in banks and credit card companies. Is government protection against predatory lending the answer? As the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau takes its first major action, will it make things better or worse?
Do Consumers Need Protection from Their Banks? Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took its first major enforcement action since it began operating a year ago. It ordered Capital One Bank to refund about $150 million dollars to two million credit card customers. Bureau Director Richard Cordray says Capital One's telephone vendors used deceptive marketing to sell add-ons like credit monitoring and debt protection. Democrats created the Bureau in response to predatory lending practices. Republicans are still trying to slow it down. Is the CFPB's the confidence-building action consumers have been waiting for or just more regulation that will swamp the finance industry in government red tape? Instead of a government agency with new powers, would it be better to break up the big banks and return personal finance to a human scale?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.