Protecting Consumer Finances

- November 27, 2020
Has the government's watchdog fulfilled its mission?
Photo of protesters outside the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2017 demanding that interim Director Mick Mulvaney step aside. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
Born out of the 2007-09 financial crisis when millions of Americans lost their homes due to foreclosures, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been a political lightning rod from the start. Liberals see the agency's core mission as protecting consumers against a sometimes rapacious financial industry. Created in 2010 during the Obama administration, the CFPB began reforming standards for mortgage lenders, debt collectors, payday lenders and others.

Enforcement and Regulation

COVID Responses

1911–1950The modern consumer credit system takes shape.
1968–2002Consumer credit booms, as financial institutions face new regulatory standards.
2007–PresentA severe financial crisis spurs creation of a consumer protection agency.

Has the CFPB made consumers safer?


Bartlett Naylor
Financial Policy Advocate, Public Citizen.


Diego Zuluaga
Associate Director, Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute.


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The Public Health System

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Graduates' Prospects - 12/4/2020
Can job seekers navigate the pandemic-battered labor market?

The Abraham Accords - 12/11/2020
Will they transform the Middle East?

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