A lawyer for payday lenders is confirmed for FTC job

Source: Glenn Thrush & Jack Nicas, New York Times (Paid Registration)

The new director of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection unit, a watchdog with broad investigative powers over private companies, stands out even in an administration prone to turning over regulatory authority to pro-industry players.

The director, Andrew M. Smith, has recently represented Facebook, Uber and Equifax—all companies with matters before the commission—and plans to recuse himself from dozens of cases now that he has been confirmed for the post.

And in 2012, Mr. Smith was also part of the legal team that defended AMG Services, the payday lender founded by the convicted racketeer Scott Tucker, whose predatory practices against impoverished borrowers eventually led to a $1.3 billion court-ordered settlement, the biggest in the commission’s history.

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