Meltdown: The Financial Crisis, Consumer Protection, and the Road Forward

Shelterforce, November 6th, 2017: With Meltdown: The Financial Crisis, Consumer Protection, and the Road Forward, Larry Kirsch and Greg Squires provide a valuable service in documenting how and why the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) came into being to protect consumers from financial exploitation and how it was envisioned as a key agency in preventing another financial catastrophe.

“ This book is the first of this type and hopefully sets a trend for evaluating the new federal oversight established after the Great Recession.

Kirsch’s and Squires’ book could best be described as a documentary-style political economy of the financial crisis and subsequent policy responses. They describe the genesis of the idea for the agency (a white paper by senior Obama White House staff led by Michael Barr), the economic motivations for the agency, the politics propelling and also inhibiting the agency, and key players including Richard Cordray, former “Jeopardy” champion and first agency director. The book ends with two case studies illustrating the CFPB’s approach, success, and limitations.”

Review by Josh Silver, Senior Policy Analyst at NCRC. This review originally appeared in Shelterforce on October 30th, 2017.

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