Sovern Has Op-Ed in American Banker, Quote in Snopes.com, and Article Discussed in Baseline Scenario Blog

The American Banker ran an op-ed by Professor Jeff Sovern on May 25, titled “Would Wells scandal have come to light with a defanged CFPB?”

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Jeff Sovern

Professor Sovern wrote:

Wells Fargo’s opening of millions of phony accounts using the names of its customers was perhaps the most significant bank scandal to come to light since the financial crisis. But [Congressman Jeb] Hensarling’s Financial Choice Act, which passed the House Financial Services Committee, would have weakened federal regulators’ ability to publicize the scandal and punish Wells. * * *

If the bill had been enacted — and the consumer bureau were just a shell of the agency it is today — it is a fair question to ask whether Wells Fargo would have been held accountable for its actions.

Professor Sovern was also quoted in a Snopes.com fact check, titled “Can Ancestry.com Take Ownership of Your DNA Data?”  Snopes wrote:

Jeff Sovern, a law professor at St John’s University in New York City and an expert in consumer law, told us the circumstances under which Ancestry.com might share your DNA data with others could be wider than they first appear. * * *

Jeff Sovern said that the privacy statement’s use of examples, rather than an exhaustive list of scenarios in which user’s information can be shared, makes him “nervous”:

That means the list is not complete, and there could be circumstances in which Ancestry could disclose the data that are not included in the list. Here’s an analogy: if someone says “examples of things I do when I go out are to see a movie or a show,” it doesn’t mean the person doesn’t also go out to get drunk.

In addition, Professor James Kwak of Connecticut Law School wrote an essay for The Baseline Scenario blog about Professor Sovern’s most recent law review article, Free-Market Failure: The Wells Fargo Arbitration Clause Example, 70 Rutgers Law Review (forthcoming 2017) titled “Economism and Arbitration Clauses.”

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