Last month, I did a short blog post on a new article that I wrote looking at the attributional proclivities driving the recent battle over the creation of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The article builds on earlier Situationist work and was penned for a symposium at Ohio State last spring in which I was asked to comment on the psychology informing the relationship between the government, business, and private citizens.
I opened the article with two quotations: one from Milton Friedman and one from Richard Nixon (who oversaw the creation of the Consumer Product Safety Commission upon which the CFPB was modeled).
Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.
~ Milton Friedman
I don‘t give a good goddamn what Milton Friedman says.
~ Richard Nixon
At the time, I was pleased with the opening, but I now regret that the article went to the printers before Representative Spencer Bachus’s (R-Alabama) provided this gem during an interview last Wednesday:
“In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.”
Bachus, I should remind readers, is the new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which governs matters relating to banks, consumer credit, and numerous other financial matters.