Well 2017, it’s been nice to know you. What a year it’s been for consumers, and I don’t mean that in a good way. Looking back at my most clicked-on stories, it’s obvious which headline captured the most attention: The Equifax hack, and all its fallout. At a time like this, you have to wonder what all that consternation and all those Congressional hearings accomplished, however. Credit freezes still aren’t free, even though virtually all Social Security numbers are very much “free” for the taking. They’re still used for security purposes, against everyone’s better judgement. Consumers are still paying for services like LifeLock.
Meanwhile, a laundry list of hard-won consumer protections have been vaporized by the current administration in Washington D.C. Over at NBC News, Herb Weisbaum summarized this well: Consumers were the biggest losers of 2017.
Ask just about anyone who’s ever filed a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and you’ll hear the same thing: That agency got results for consumers. Often, within days. Trust me, no one ever said that about the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Yes, I know some folks think the CFPB was too independent. But the next time you consider that, think about the FCC and Net Neutrality. That’s what happens when an agency that’s supposed to protect people is instead “captured” by industry. The CFPB was very cleverly designed to be independent, to avoid regulatory capture. Consumers will rue the loss of this independence.
With that, I’ll leave you, dear reader, with a list of my top stories from 2017. Thanks so much for riding along with me. I’ll have some big news in early 2018 that I can’t wait to share. Until then, have a safe, blessed, happy new year and a great start to 2018.
Top 15 stories of 2017