By James Kwak
The National Association for Business Economics does a semi-annual Economic Policy Survey of its members, who are primarily private-sector economists. The March 2010 survey isn’t up on their site yet, but this is what it has to say about the Consumer Financial Protection Agency:
“A key point of discussion in Congressional deliberations on financial services regulatory reform has been the establishment of an independent agency focused on consumer financial protection. Fifty-four percent of survey respondents feel that creating such an agency would not impair safety and soundness regulation; 25 percent believed it would be detrimental. On a related issue, 43 percent of respondents indicate that a consumer financial protection agency would not impair access to credit while 39 percent believed it would.”
The financial sector has been demanding that any new consumer protection agency be made subservient to the traditional safety and soundness regulators, and has also been threatening that greater regulation will make credit harder to come by. Apparently the business community–a group that is pretty skeptical about government, judging by some of the other survey responses–isn’t buying it.