I thought our readers might be interested in reading this speech given today by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray to the National Association of Attorneys General. Among other things, he stressed (1) a need to make mortage lending simpler and more transparent; (2) a preference that more consumer-protective state laws not be preempted; and (3) the agency's concern with preventing racial discrimination in the financial industry. On the latter score, Cordray said
For some consumers, the challenges they face do not come from deceptive materials, debt traps, or dead ends but, rather, are rooted in something even more offensive – discrimination. Unequal, invidious treatment based on characteristics such as race or gender or other bases prohibited by law is a serious roadblock to consumers seeking to make economic progress. The statistics show very clearly that communities of color were hit especially hard during the financial crisis. All Americans saw drops in their household wealth, but African-Americans and Hispanics experienced the steepest drops. This inequity is compounded by unequal access to responsible credit, which makes it difficult or even impossible to achieve their financial goals.