Today, ATR sent the following to all members of the U.S. Senate. Click here for PDF document.

Senator Dodd’s “Wall Street Bailout” bill, S. 3217 the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, seeks to establish a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP). This Bureau violates consumer privacy, monitors personal bank transactions, and uses personal financial data to regulate consumer choice.

Established in Title 10, this new autonomous agency will be sheltered within the Federal Reserve, but will function independent of the current established traditional regulatory framework. Congress or any other agency will have no veto power over the BCFP.

Section 1017 of Title 10 provides their budget will be 12 percent of the 2009 Federal Reserve System Operating Budget, approximately $646 million. In 2008, the operating budget was $2.5 billion but increased $600 million to $3.1 billion for 2009. The 2009 budget baseline was used because it was the most inflated baseline in recent history.

Section 1022 on page 1028 gives the BCFP authority to monitor consumer financial patterns and, “implement and, where applicable, enforce Federal consumer financial law.” Specifically, Subsection C gives this agency authority to “gather information and activities of persons operating in consumer financial markets.”

Further, Section 1071 allows the BCFP to “use the data on branches and [individual and personal] deposit accounts…for any purpose.” Never before has the federal government actively sought to aggregate data on every single personal and business financial transaction in the U.S. until now.

The BCFP will use data collected by their agency as outlined above, and the Office of Financial Research established in Title 1, to monitor and track all consumer purchases and share this data with whomever they wish. This bill provides Big Business and Wall Street with the tools to regulate all consumers’ purchasing behavior.

For these reasons and more, ATR urges all Members to vote “No” on any version of S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. Real debate can only begin once Title 1 and Title 10 are removed.  

For more information, contact Brian Johnson at [email protected].