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Bring the FTC into the 21st Century

David Balto discusses in The Hill that the Federal Trade Commission should receive a full range of powers to effectively protect consumers from deceptive and fraudulent conduct.

The financial reform effort faces an imposing set of challenges. In order to restore reliability to these markets, we need a comprehensive consumer protection regime to assure that the fraudulent and deceptive practices which helped lead to the recent recession are not repeated. As part of the consumer protection provisions in the Restoring American Financial Stability Act, the House of Representatives appropriately strengthened the powers of the Federal Trade Commission to pursue deceptive and fraudulent conduct.

Though these provisions are essential for consumers to be fully protected, they have created a recent firestorm of criticism, with claims that the “broadly expanded” powers would put the “FTC on steroids.” Colorful rhetoric aside, these changes are sound, necessary and long overdue.

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