Government Control of Personal Finances: A Threat to Liberty (and Prosperity)
Todd Zywicki on Banking Cancel Culture, Consumer Protection, and Central Bank Digital Currencies
Following the “Great Recession” of 2007-2008, regulators seized the crisis as an excuse to remedy (read: regulate) alleged market failures in credit markets. Never mind the role that government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae played in generating the loans responsible for the crisis. Politicians rushed to blame the free market and payday lenders.
The 2011 Dodd-Frank Act gave regulators more power, and even a new agency – the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As the first appointee of the agency's "Consumer Advisory Board," Elizabeth Warren became known as a savior of sorts for victims of so-called "predatory lending."
But as my guest this Sunday has observed, CFPB regulations have often harmed would-be borrowers more than they have helped, by taking away options in the name of consumer protection. Todd Zywicki is a Foundation professor of Law at GMU’s Antonin Scalia School of Law, and when he’s not teaching law, writing journal articles, and advising regulators, he is fighting on the frontlines of the vaccination mandate debate. Todd knows a thing or two about threats to liberty, and he isn’t afraid to tell it like it is.
Now, certain left-wing groups are proposing to further hamper the credit market by replacing private credit rating companies like Equifax and Experian with a new DMV-style government bureau [Demos, “Establish a Public Credit Registry,” POLICY BRIEFS APRIL 3, 2019]. Once again, the principle of consumer protection is poised to create disastrous consequences for the most economically vulnerable.
We will discuss Professor Zywicki’s recent paper in Regulation Magazine [Spring 2022], and examine the related threat of the growing “cancel culture” in banking.
Long before Kanye West had his bank account closed, small business owners from gun dealers to pawn shops were “de-banked” by Operation Choke Point (thanks, Obama). Here, threats to financial freedom become threats to our Constitutional rights, such as the First and Second Amendment. We’ve come to expect such draconian financial threats in places like China, Iran, Nigeria, and even Canada – but the U.S.?
Professor Zywicki is an expert in consumer credit, rule of law, and free market economics. He is also a co-author of Consumer Credit and the American Economy, which I covered when it first came out in 2014.
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Listen Sunday at 8 am PT to learn how the free market can be restored to our government-controlled financial system.
"People, usually on the left, have figured out that they can put pressure on companies through these investment managers to achieve 'net zero' by whatever arbitrary dates people are now talking about – 2030 or 2050."
– Paul Atkins on the dangers of #ESG