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New York Times is running a bank fees debate, seeks comments

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Over at the New York Times, you can join a debate on bank fees. Meanwhile, the CFPB has extended its comment period seeking your views on overdraft fees until June 29.

CFPB takes first step to eliminate forced arbitration and other consumer news

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took an important first step toward protecting consumers from mandatory arbitration clauses, which are boilerplate sentences in bank account and other contracts that crush consumer legal rights. ... Meanwhile, the New York Times follows up on a lawsuit by the Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson against a medical debt collector that blocks and tackles consumers trying to get through hospital emergency room doors. But it gets better. That debt collector just happens to be owned by the same hedge fund that owned a supposedly neutral (not) forced arbitration mill known as NAF and favored by the big credit card companies.   ...  Also today, the World Privacy Forum announced updates to its helpful pages on medical identity theft.

Who Owns Big Oil? We Do!

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The American Petroleum Institute has a new public image campaign: http://whoownsbigoil.org. The purpose of this website, presumably, is to convince us that if we raise taxes on hugely profitable corporations we will only be hurting ourselves. Why? Because we are all shareholders of those corporations and when they are taxed we suffer.

While I am skeptical of API’s conclusions, it’s right to say we own the oil companies. In fact, shareholders across the country are demanding accountability and disclosure from the corporations that they rightfully own and the effort could be the key to slowing the flow of corporate money in the 2012 election.

The Food and Drug Administration announced last Wednesday that it had finalized a plan asking drug companies to voluntarily limit the use of certain antibiotics in animal feed.

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