Fed flunks consumer protection

Truth in Lending reforms need new overseer

The Federal Reserve Board has finally released its proposals for reforming the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). It comes right in the middle of a debate over whether a single consumer protection agency should be created to take over all consumer protection functions, including the administration of TILA.

Since the Fed has already indicated its strong opposition to the single-agency idea, it is tempting to view the TILA proposals as an attempt to protect its turf by polishing its consumer protection credentials. But that would be wrong, because the single-agency idea surfaced only this year, whereas the board’s TILA proposals have been in the works since 2004.