Thursday, October 15, 2009

Serious Questions on Regulatory Reform from Consumers, Fools, Yahoos and Moms

Serious Questions on Regulatory Reform from Consumers, Fools, Yahoos and Moms
Posted by Katie Stanton
Last week, President Obama renewed his push for Financial Regulatory Reform. The goal of Regulatory Reform is to protect American consumers from abuse and set clear rules of the road for the financial industry. Reform will help prevent another financial crisis like the one we saw over the past year and will ultimately restore responsibility and accountability to our financial system.

In the wake of the President’s remarks, we reached out to four websites dedicated to stakeholders in financial regulatory reform: investors, consumers and moms. After spending time getting a sense for the thoughts and questions among their readers, the editors of these websites sent in questions or came themselves to interview senior policy officials at the White House.

First, the Motherhood collected a wide variety of questions from the "mommy blogger" community for Christina Romer, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, and mother of three. Many of the questions revolved around how reform will help with family finances including paying for college and paying mortgages. A summary of all of the questions and the video clip can be found on the Motherhood.

Romer also answered questions from Yahoo Finance. She said President Obama is fully committed to this as a central part of his agenda, and that it will serve consumers well and help people make better financial decisions. Watch more of the interview here.

One of the founders of The Motley Fool, another online finance site, interviewed Austan Goolsbee from the Council of Economic Advisers. Over 400 comments were submitted by "Fools" (as the community is named ), including questions about how reform will provide for accountability, responsibility and effective enforcement. The Fool has a summary of the interview including a video on their site.

And finally, the Consumerist interviewed Diana Farrell from the National Economic Council. The Consumerist collected questions from their readers, including:

"I agree with the need to reform the current financial regulatory system. Besides the high level plan of consolidating consumer protection power into one agency, what actions do you believe hold the most promise of achieving this reform quickly, effectively, and with minimum cost and effort?" – "opticnrv"

"Will the CFPA have any actual legal authority to investigate and prosecute companies or individuals that violate its tenets?" – parvax

To see what Farrell had to say on these questions and others, check out the video at the Consumerist.

We enjoyed this new way of engaging with citizens and communities online to sort through what can seem like a complicated issue, and thanks to everybody who took part.

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