By Don Baylor

Commercial innovation remains at the heart of the American tradition. However, innovation should be used to increase American wealth, not destroy it.

Leading up to the financial crisis, gaps in our financial monitoring system unleashed a financial virus still worming through the American economy. Products like overdraft fees, payday loans, and “pick-a-payment” mortgages all damaged our economy. The resulting system crash led to historic levels of foreclosures, lost wealth and chronic unemployment.

As new, complex financial products enter the marketplace, our regulatory firewall must be able to detect toxic financial products and safeguard Americans from financial harm. We need a national solution that honors state authority in order to protect American wealth from future meltdowns. The proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) would help avoid repeat financial disaster by ensuring that all “off-the shelf” financial products can be monitored by one inspector with a clear code book.

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