I was honored to join President Obama today at the White House where he spoke on “creating the ground rules (for the delivery of fair and reasonable financial services), expanding choice, and rewarding private sector innovation and competition.” Given Operation HOPE and my 17 year plus mission around financial literacy education as a fundamental civil right, and teaching what I call “the language of money” as a progressive new American value and a global silver rights issue, I felt compelled to issue a statement of support around President Obama’s call for make-sense consumer protection. On the other side of this global crisis, and building on fundamental consumer protections, I believe that making sure that the next generation is financially literate, is the only real way that we insure that this crisis never happens again.
We believe that consumer protection ultimately needs to address the issue that helped to cause the crisis — regulating the largely unregulated financial service space, including unregulated and under-regulated mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers and other alternative financial service providers, as well as of course mainstream institutions. We believe that the ultimate answer should support consumer protection, a new and serious focus on financial literacy, encourage fair and reasonable access to capital, and help to support what we call “good capitalism” — or a free enterprise and capitalism that uplifts, includes and empowers the poor and the under-served. We also believe that consumer protection should be based on a fair and broad-based federal standard, providing a baseline of acceptable national best practices, encouraging innovation and the fair provision of credit.
“I also believe that this crisis did not represent so much a failure of free enterprise and capitalism, but rather the failure of greed. Done well, these consumer protections will help to curb abuses and predatory practices, and also help honest innovation and good capitalism to flourish,” said John Hope Bryant.
Operation HOPE has served more than one million individuals, including the poor and underserved impacted by Hurricane Katrina, middle income and working class Americans ravaged by the mortgage subprime crisis, under-served communities with little access to mainstream financial services, and our children who receive effectively no financial literacy education in school or college.
John Hope Bryant is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, vice chairman of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, as well as chairman of the Council Committee on the Under-Served, financial literacy advisor to the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, a Young Global Leaders for the World Economic Forum, and author of LOVE LEADERSHIP; A New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), which debuted in August, 2009, #8 in the CEO Reads Top 10 Best Seller List.