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General News    H2'ed 6/28/09

Full Moon Rising: Consumer Financial Protection

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This week, GoodB cofounder Peter Ressler and I presented the Consumer Power Hour on Conscious Talk Radio

(http://www.conscioustalk.net/archives.php) out of Seattle, Washington along with innovative consciousness-raising host Rob Spears.

The initial goal for the show was to find out what consumer protections were in place in the U.S. and how to pursue those options

if you were facing overwhelming debt, foreclosure or bankruptcy. GoodB's cracker-jack research team went to work on the job and

guess what? Nothing turned up.

We could not find any "consumer rights" for homeowner and debt obligations in the United States. Beyond the rudimentary elements of

the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that protect consumers from ecoli-laced

foods and lead-based toys, consumer financial protection and individual rights for borrowers don't exist. All the laws protect

bankers over people. Okay, well now you know what you already knew. Consumers hold all the debt and the banking industry holds all

the cards in the poker game of credit.

I chatted with a few German friends recently, two from avant-garde Berlin, and one from the more mainstream city of Cologne. They

spoke of the fact that most Americans use "credit cards" in ways Germans and other Europeans don't-for advance purchases beyond

their incomes. In Germany, consumer credit cards are basically ATM cards drawn on your own cash account. Americans, as we know,

live on credit just to get by. Our reputation in the world is one of a spendaholic nation that lives far beyond our means and

indulges ourselves in the lap of luxury and overconsumption daily.

Now there is some truth to that. In the U.S., we simply have too much "stuff." Too many clothes, too much food, and more TVs than

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Monika Mitchell is the Chief Executive Officer of Good-b (Good Business International)a leading new media company xcelerating the movement for better business for a better world.
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