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CBC’s Towns Leads Tense Questioning of Bernanke

What are your impressions of Obama’s proposed financial regulatory overhaul proposal?

I have great admiration and respect for the president, and I’ve tried to be supportive where I can, but I’m not prepared to move forward until we collect additional information. I can then decide whether I’d sign on. He’s a very capable person and providing tremendous leadership, but I’m not sure that additional powers are what the Fed needs.

What specifically is your impression of the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency and the recent credit card reform proposals?

I’m not sure we need another agency. I think we need to make certain that the ones that we have are functioning in the manner that they should. Where was the SEC when all this happened? They had a role they didn’t perform. The FDIC raised questions but still went along. So I’m not sure that we need to create new agencies.

What about the credit card reforms the House recently voted for?

I think we have to reform because a lot of people are getting in trouble and don’t even realize they’re getting into trouble. The credit card companies are taking advantage of people so there should be some control over it. The main thing is that young people getting out of college get these cards and ruin their credit as a result. They have no jobs but still have these bills to pay. These things have to be put it check because they’re ruining their credit for life.

Minorities have had higher relative foreclosure rates or have been greater victims of subprime lending and other financial malfeasance. Should there be targeted measures to protect black consumers, investors, home buyers and homeowners?

We have to come up with something because of the number of foreclosures that are in the black community lets you know that there’s something rotten in the cotton. It says we must look at things differently because this is not an accident or a coincidence that all these people are losing their homes. So it’s very clear that a lot of people were put into bad mortgages because they didn’t have a lot of knowledge. These companies targeted them. We have to correct that.


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