Near the close of Director Kathy Kraninger’s term as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the agency published a comprehensive report from the Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law, a capstone to her tenure as Bureau Director.
Created in January of 2020 and Chaired by Todd Zywicki, the Taskforce examined ways to harmonize and modernize federal consumer financial laws. Kraninger gave the Taskforce a year to submit a report of their findings and recommendations.
The group focused on the enumerated consumer credit laws and the implementing regulations for those laws, as well as gaps in knowledge that should be addressed through research. It also identified ways to improve consumer understanding of markets and products and potential conflicts or inconsistencies in existing regulations and guidance.
The comprehensive report could be a step in the right direction to depoliticize and reform the agency in a way that will best address consumers’ financial problems. However, at the confirmation hearing for Rohit Chopra, President Biden’s pick to succeed Kraninger, the Taskforce report went entirely unmentioned.
Consumers’ Research Senior Research Fellow, Professor Tom Miller, Jr., noticed the Senate [Banking?] Committee’s unfortunate disregard for the work of the Taskforce during their questioning of Mr. Chopra. In a Real Clear Policy oped, Professor Miller touted the Taskforce Report and implored individual Senators to question Mr. Chopra on whether he will commit to overseeing an agency dedicated to solid empirical research.
The largest set of recommendations in the Taskforce’s report involve research. In particular, the report highlights issues where knowledge has been forgotten, questions remain unanswered, and areas where generally accepted knowledge proves to be false.
On Friday, April 9, 2021, we invite you to join Consumers’ Research for a webinar featuring Taskforce Chairman Zywicki and Professor Miller discussing the CFPB’s Taskforce report and the dire need for more research in the area of consumer finance.
Todd J. Zywicki is a George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law at George Mason University Antonin Scalia School of Law. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives and one of the authors of Consumer Credit and the American Economy.
Tom Miller, Jr. is a Professor of Finance and inaugural holder of the Jack R. Lee Chair in Financial Institutions and Consumer Finance at Mississippi State University. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at Consumers’ Research and the author of How Do Small-Dollar, Nonbank Loans Work?
The webinar will be moderated by Brian Knight, Director of Innovation and Governance and a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center and author of The Sandbox Paradox: Balancing the Need to Facilitate Innovation with the Risk of Regulatory Privilege.
About our Speakers:
Todd J. Zywicki
Todd J. Zywicki is a George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, Senior Scholar of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and Senior Fellow at the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
In 2021, Zywicki was elected to be a Fellow of the American College of Consumer Financial Lawyers after spending a year as the chair of the CFPB’s Consumer Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Institute for Humane Studies 2009 Charles G. Koch Outstanding IHS Alum Award. He has served as Co‐Editor of the Supreme Court Economic Review since 2006 and as Editor from 2001–2002. From 2003–2004, Professor Zywicki served as the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission.
Tom Miller, Jr.
Tom Miller, Jr. is a Senior Research Fellow at Consumers’ Research. He is a Professor of Finance and inaugural holder of the Jack R. Lee Chair in Financial Institutions and Consumer Finance at Mississippi State University. With its focus on Consumer Finance, notably installment credit products, the Lee Chair is the first of its kind. He currently serves as a member of the Academic Research Council at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Professor Miller has several ongoing research projects on various topics in small-dollar loans. His current research now includes projects on payday loans and on small-dollar installment loans.
Miller is a frequent speaker at national conferences and conventions. His overall topics generally focus on the value to consumers of maintaining access to small-dollar credit products, the value of competition in small-dollar credit products, and educating policymakers about how small-dollar credit products work.
Miller has had, and maintains, a long-standing interest in derivative securities and investments. He has published numerous scholarly peer-reviewed articles on various topics in derivative securities. In addition, he is the author of How Do Small-Dollar Nonbank Loans Work? and co-author (with Bradford D. Jordan and Steve Dolvin) of Fundamentals of Investments: Valuation and Management, 9th ed. (McGraw-Hill/Irwin). He is also co-author (with David Dubofsky) of Derivatives: Valuation and Risk Management (Oxford University Press).
Miller received his Ph.D. in finance from the University of Washington (Seattle) and his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in applied economics from Montana State University. In his off hours, he enjoys playing jazz and blues on the tenor saxophone.
Brian Knight is the Director of Innovation and Governance and a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Brian’s research focuses on numerous aspects of financial regulation, including the creation of pro-innovation regulatory environments, the role of federalism in fintech regulation, the use of digital assets for financial transactions, the role of regulation for credit markets and consumer protection, and the provision of capital to businesses.
Prior to joining Mercatus, Brian worked for the Milken Institute, where he headed up the FinTech and Capital Access programs. He has experience working for a broker-dealer with a focus on the emerging online private-placement market and was the co-founder of CrowdCheck, a company providing due-diligence and disclosure services to companies and intermediaries engaged in online private offerings.
Brian received his law degree from the University of Virginia and his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary.