What Dodd's Consumer Reforms Mean for You

Chris Dodd
Chris Dodd

It's on. The U.S. Senate is finally taking up financial reform. And believe it or not, there's a lot in its 1,300-plus page bill to like – and to defend from lobbyists mobilizing to tear it apart. So listen up, and put your senator and congressman's numbers in your speed dial.

Yesterday Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) unveiled his long-awaited financial reform bill, including a consumer watchdog agency to make sure that borrowers' bank accounts don't become ATMs for greedy mortgage lenders and credit card companies. Predatory lending and other abuses, Dodd reminded reporters at a press conference, "had become almost standard operating procedure" in the lending business.

You know that. I know that. But it's new to hear such strong words from Dodd, the chair of the Senate Banking Committee and, in the eyes of many critics, a pal of the finance industry. Dodd has decided not to run for reelection this fall, and that appears to have freed him to put the heat on bankers.