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Protecting Your Finances

Ralph welcomes the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, to talk about how this important agency – created in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown and moribund in the Trump years – needs to start protecting consumers again. Plus, Ralph pays tribute to the late great muckraking journalist, James Ridgeway.

Richard Cordray is the founding director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he served from 2011 to 2017. He is the author of “Watchdog: How Protecting Consumers Can Save Our Families, Our Economy, and Our Democracy.”

“Every aspect of our legal system has been turned around by financial companies to oppress individual consumers. And yet, individual consumers are not permitted (often by these arbitration clauses) to band together to seek collective justice against the company.”

Richard Cordray, author of Watchdog: How Protecting Consumers Can Save Our Families, Our Economy, and Our Democracy

“For consumers… financial contracts loom much larger in their lives than they did a couple of generations ago. Consumer finance now dominates pretty much every aspect of household finances and household credit… And in many cases, the company reserves the right to change the contract terms unilaterally. Think about that. You sign up for a contract to buy a product and finance it in a certain way, and the company reserves the right to change the terms. Even after the fact.”

Richard Cordray, author of Watchdog: How Protecting Consumers Can Save Our Families, Our Economy, and Our Democracy


“One of the pieces of advice to give to consumers– but it’s not all that helpful– is to say to be very careful. The trouble is you’re very careful about the things you know about, the things you’re conscious about. But how can you be careful about the things that you’re unaware of or not conscious of.”

Richard Cordray, author of Watchdog: How Protecting Consumers Can Save Our Families, Our Economy, and Our Democracy

“As good [of] a job you and your associates did, strong as this agency was as a law enforcement institution, it seems like you just scratched the surface. And I know when you return $12 billion you deter some companies from cheating people… It seems like you dealt with the tip of an iceberg. And I’m very curious to know how big you think that iceberg is.”

Ralph Nader

“Small claims courts in this country are used by creditors. They’re used by companies. They were envisioned to reduce complexity and to be used by the little guy.”

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 364 Transcript (Right click to download)


  1. Claire Sachnoff says:

    Hi Ralph ~~ I do not know if you remember me ~~ The school teacher from Turtle Creek Pennsylvania ~` “REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER” !!! Look at us ~~ we are still here!! I have followed your career since the Remember in November days and have alway been so proud of you!! Think about it ~ a special Education Teacher teaching in Turtle Creek Pennsylvania becomes a friend of Ralph Nader ????!!!! I remember that you have a sister names Claire and I could not belileve that!! I am now going on “85” and have nine grandchildren ~ two married ~ one just turned “30’ ~ two in training to be Navy Seals ~~ and on and on!! I look in the mirror at the reflection and I find a little old lady ~~ she follows me around and whenever I look in a mirror ~~ there she is!!! I always tell people to “Fasten your seatbelts because these Golden Years are a bumpy ride!!” i hope this finds you well and I hope you remember me and my fifteen minutes of fame with Remember in November!! One of my grandsons ~ Nicholas ~ made a website for me on my _80th” and if you go on U Tube and go to ~~ grammaClaire and the People ~ you will find Remember in November and about 20 or so other songs I wrote over the years!! Love to you Always ~~ Be well ~~ Be Safe ~~ and Thank You always for the memories !!! Claire and the People otherwise known these days as “grammaClaire” ~~ XOXOXOXOXO

  2. NooN1 says:

    LEARN CIVICS continually developing Civic Living & Civic Education at all ages.
    YES THE Consumer must have SOME empowerment 4 Justice:
    I guess we can

    ~*~ <3 <3 ~*~ YALL ARE OUR HOPE NOW ~*~ <3 <3 ~*~

  3. NooN says:

    “****** RALPH NADER *******

    ***** RETURN TO BLESS YOU & YOURS *****


  4. stephen says:

    let Steve and David talk way more. I want 75 percent of them and 25 percent of you, Ralph (for the sake of your prior efforts). John Dewey spoke on this: we need to understand our present historical situation in order to act effectively. Ralph, you know the past really well, but even William James, John Dewey, and Jane Addams knew the pattern. Steve and David know the pattern. Ralph, you are beating us down, not them.

    • Skro35 says:

      Dear Stephen, I won’t speak for David, but while flattered, I have to respectfully disagree. David and I are here to facilitate the conversation between Ralph and our guests. What’s unique about this program is that Ralph is not your typical blank slate interviewer who hasn’t read the books or doesn’t know the subjects. And many times he has lived the subject. In some cases, he was the one who popularized the subject. That gives him a unique perspective that makes his questions not so general and run-of-the-mill, not to mention a little more demanding. It sounds like you might be sensing some negativity in Ralph. That may be true in some cases, but he might say we have to be up front about defining the problems before we can move forward with the proper solutions. Thanks for listening and hang in there. Steve

  5. Hen says:

    Good one! Why don’t you put a link to the radio show at the bottom or somewhere on his email column that goes out. I’m just saying. Thx all 3 of you are very talented.

  6. Queets says:

    Do you guys have any kind of outline, book, power point, etc. about how to start a watchdog group? I think we could have a nice chance here in Montana having a big indigenous population and independent streak amongst us. Thanks for all that you guys do. It gives me hope in a rather head banging world!