Monday, July 10, 2006

Recent reading: bank regulation and consumer protection

Keith R. Fisher, Toward a Basal Tenth Amendment: A Riposte to National Bank Preemption of State Consumer Protection Laws, 29 Harvard J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 981 (2006): Prof. Fisher is a Georgetown grad, but I didn’t realize that until I started writing this entry. If you want to raise your blood pressure reading about unscrupulous and fraudulent lending conduct aimed at the most vulnerable among us, the beginning of this article will be a good guide. Federal bank regulators, rather than encouraging strong action by states against this type of consumer fraud, have instead promulgated a new, more aggressive preemption theory trying to prevent state attorneys general from going after various predatory practices. Even if you don’t agree with Fisher’s constitutional take on federalism, the article is a good reminder that increases in executive power don’t just come at the expense of the Congress or the judiciary. They also decrease states’ powers to act and, not least, the ability of individuals to seek redress against the harmful acts of members of regulated industries.

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