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As a consumer and a bank member, I am relieved to read of Congress blocking efforts to weaken consumer protections and roll back reforms for Wall Street ("Congress OKs year-end budget deal, sends to Obama," Dec. 18).

Last I heard, Wall Street lobbyists were pushing hard to attach riders that would hobble the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, aka the watchdog agency set up by Congress to rein in Wall Street's excesses  — like those that led to the crisis of 2008. These riders would have made it impossible for the CFPB to regulate most banks.

History has shown us a free-wheeling financial sector most often takes advantage of consumers. It's important we keep an eye on Wall Street to avoid repeating our past mistakes.

Anna Breen, Chicago

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Porter County Government Reporter

Senior reporter Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.

Editor

Marc Chase is a veteran investigative reporter, columnist and editor of more than two decades. He currently leads The Times news staff as local news editor. He can be reached at 219-933-3327.