Rena Steinzor

Rena Steinzor is a professor at the University of Maryland Carey Law School and was president of the Center for Progressive Reform. She is the author of Why Not Jail? Industrial Catastrophes, Corporate Malfeasance, and Government Inaction. 


Recent Articles

The Banks Are Even Worse

Storefront payday lenders and check-cashers are all that tens of millions of Americans have. 

AP Photo/Nati Harnik
AP Photo/Nati Harnik EZ Money Check Cashing in Omaha, Nebraska. The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives By Lisa Servon Houghton Mifflin Harcourt This article appears in the Winter 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . U nbanked. The term has an ominous undercurrent if you assume, as most of us do, that being “banked” is essential to quality of life. An unbanked person does not have a checking or savings account and lacks access to mainstream credit cards or loans. In 2015, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), 7 percent of U.S. households, or about 15.6 million adults and 7.6 million children, qualified for this label. Another 19.9 percent, or about 51.1 million adults and 16.3 million children, were “underbanked,” meaning that they had an account at an insured financial institution but also used “services and products outside of the banking system.” What’s available out in the cold? Payday loans that must be repaid...

Putting the REINS on Regulation

In a drastic power grab, the House has approved a measure that would strip executive agencies of the authority to issue significant new regulations.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite House Speaker Paul Ryan holds the gavel after being re-elected to his leadership position, January 3, 2017. T he House hit the ground running last week on regulatory reform, passing two pieces of legislation that would fast-track the demise of Dodd-Frank financial controls, public health safeguards, and worker and consumer safety protections. Engrossed in confirmation hearings, the Senate has yet to turn its attention to regulatory reform. But as you read this, hundreds of lobbyists representing industries of every stripe are swarming both bodies and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s determination to trash every vestige of the Obama regulatory regime shows no signs of abating. The first and most drastic plan to up-end the federal regulatory framework is coyly entitled “ Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny ” or the REINS Act, as in pulling a galloping horse to a grinding halt. Under this plan, no “major” rule imposing costs on the economy of...