Partial Financial Regulation

The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki claims the financial reform bill pending in Congress has some real teeth, yet somehow it exempts a major chuck of the consumer credit market — auto dealers.

There are close to eight hundred and fifty billion dollars’ worth of auto loans outstanding in the U.S.—about as much as our total credit-card debt—and car dealers broker about eighty per cent of them. Since the central task of the new consumer financial-protection agency is to oversee the market for consumer credit, which has become something of a cesspool in recent years, it would have been natural for car dealers to fall under its jurisdiction. Instead, the dealers won a special exemption: the agency can’t touch them.

Now that’s an interesting.

Do you buy his explanation for why car dealers succeeded in dodging where others failed? Not everyone agrees.