Thursday, May 8, 2014

Buy This Book!

“A Fighting Chance” by U. S. Senator Elizabeth Warren is a must read for everyone.

The first time I heard of Elizabeth Warren was through a documentary called “Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders.” We used to show the documentary to the students at Benedictine University as part of a financial literacy class but it was so disturbing that we had to stop. The students just couldn’t take it. Part of the documentary followed the lives of people who became so hopeless over their financial setbacks that they took their own lives.  

One of the many things that I have come to love about Elizabeth Warren is that she’s all about action. She didn’t just talk about what was going wrong in the world of money, she did something about it. And it was monumental. Elizabeth Warren was able to accomplish the unthinkable act of creating an agency dedicated to protecting consumers from deceptive lending practices. I was lucky enough to be chosen to spend two days in Washington, DC alongside other financial literacy advocates to help the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau establish national priorities in the area of financial education. One gentleman spoke up during the series of meetings and said something that I’ll never forget. “We can teach our children to swim but what difference does it make if we throw them into a pool of sharks?” So true.

So the job of the CFPB is to clear the pool of sharks…and the job of the financial literacy/capability/empowerment world is to teach consumers to swim. Millions of Americans will have a fighting chance to become financially secure thanks to the work of Senator Warren and everyone who made the CFPB a reality. Great job!