Esther Kiaaina
Esther Kiaaina

By Esther Kiaaina – The recent headline-grabbing $2 billion J.P Morgan Chase mistake is the latest proof of the need for federal lawmakers to curb excesses at government-backed banks and protect consumers.

The blunder clearly provides Congress with more sway in the debate over tighter restraints on banks’ in-house trading activities.

The 2010 Dodds-Frank law promises to overhaul our entire financial regulatory system in five key ways:

  • Creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Regulating derivatives;
  • Requiring firms which bundle mortgages into securities to maintain some of the risk;
  • Prohibiting taxpayer funded bailouts of any single firm;
  • Monitoring overall risk to the financial system.

At the same time, congressional Republicans continue to undermine meaningful financial reform and obstruct the implementation of Dodd-Frank by seeking cuts to funding for two primary agencies that will implement the financial reform law.

Republicans are doing everything possible to also undermine the newly established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and limit its powers to curtail financial reform.

The primary mission of the CFPB is to protect consumers when dealing with financial institutions, whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.

From my perspective, it is clear that the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” must be fully implemented to truly effect needed change in our nation’s banking and financial industry.

Esther Kiaaina is seeking the Democratic nomination for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District seat.