September 1, 2009 — Report

Consumer protection in the financial world has been dramatically weakened in the last several years by preemption of state consumer protection laws. Broad preemption of state law is a recent phenomenon; for most of the 150 years since national banks were created, they have complied with state law. Preemption has harmed states’ ability to respond to financial abuses in both the banking and the nonbank world. Restoring the states’ role as “first responders” is an essential element of regulatory reform.