OLD Media Moves

Biz media ignored story about lax state regulation of lenders

November 21, 2008

Ryan Chittum of Columbia Journalism Review interviewed John Ryan, executive vice president at the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, who repeatedly tried to get business reporters in the past few years interested in writing a story about how state regulation of lenders was being steamrolled by Wall Street.

Here is an excerpt:

John Ryan: I spent a lot of time talking with the press — first trade press and then national media — about this assault on consumer protection and federalism. But the federal regulators would tell them that nothing new was happening here, and they press wouldn’t challenge them on that. At best, it was treated as a ‘he said, she said’ situation.

“The one exception to that would be the front cover Wall Street Journal piece that described the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as doing the industry’s bidding in overturning state consumer protection laws that the big banks didn’t want to comply with… But once that story was done, well it’s done. But that’s not the end of the story.

“I’ve dealt with some really good journalists, but there was an even bigger story here about how money and influence shape policy and how actively they shape policy and are able to write the rules at the federal level to maximize their profit at the expense of consumer protections or even recognition of the democratic process. What concerned me was that this was not viewed as a news story.”

Read more here.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.