What happens when Big Regulation inserts itself into the marketplace? Almost always we see fewer choices for consumers, fewer small businesses thrive or even survive, costs increase, and consolidation of goods and service providers. Does Big Regulation help consumers as it was promised?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created by the Dodd-Frank Act following the banking collapse/failure in 2008-2010. We were promised better protection as consumers, less expenses, no more predatory loans, more clear rules and paperwork when taking out a loan, and more help from Big Regulation when we needed it. Has any of those promises been delivered upon? We have fewer banks now than we did before 2010, the banks in existence are far larger than previously making them even more “Too Big to Fail” government bail-out proof. In 2006 there were about 7 banks and credit unions based in and around my area, now there are only 2. Loan docs are not measured by page numbers but by weight. It takes an army of people to process a loan today and far more time than it did previously.
About the same time we saw the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) put into place in an effort to insure “every American has affordable health insurance”, while we can “keep our doctor”, and annual premiums will go down “on average $2500”. So far, none of this has materialized, but in fact have moved in the opposite direction of the promises made to us.
Both of these Big Regulation programs have had significant effect on the healthcare, financial, and debt collection marketplaces since 2010. Primarily, there are far fewer choices and companies and businesses and opportunities for people. The CFPB announced that in the debt collection marketplace, they have measured a drop in companies from 2008 to 2013 by over 1800 firms! They simply no longer exist – that is over a 25% reduction. We can all see what is happening in health care related to mergers and acquisitions – more Big and much less Small. Financial mergers and acquisitions means the Big Banks gobbling up almost every other bank. This equates to less choice and higher prices in everything.