Cathy Lesser Mansfield
Cathy Lesser Mansfield, professor of law at Drake Law School, foresaw the recent financial crisis coming back in 2000, when she testified before Congress about problems in the subprime mortgage lending industry.
Congress, however, did not respond to appeals by Mansfield and many others to protect consumers from the worst aspects of this market. The subprime mortgage market flourished, and even migrated into other parts of the mortgage market, producing default and foreclosure rates the likes of which we have not seen since the Great Depression.
Mansfield, who has been teaching and writing about consumer protection law for two decades, has continued to advocate for financial reform. Since 2006 she has chaired the Board of Directors of Americans for Fairness in Lending.
She wrote an opinion piece published in today's Des Moines Register that calls for Congress to pass the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The piece also calls for Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley to reconsider his decision not to support the bill, which is scheduled for a vote yet this week.
"He claims the bill is good for Wall Street, and not for consumers, but he is wrong," she writes. "The bill is a good one, and consumer organizations around the country are unanimously in support of this bill."
Mansfield goes on to write that "This bill will finally give consumers, investors and markets the protection and transparency that were so desperately needed and so obviously absent for so many years."