After weeks of working tirelessly to dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) ability to defend consumers and roll back its power to punish criminal banks, White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney put out a request for public comment on the bureau's direction under his leadership.
"The fact that a person who declared the CFPB a 'sick, sad joke' has been named acting head of the bureau is a clear-cut example of regulatory capture."
If the overwhelming majority of responses submitted thus far are any evidence, Americans are not at all pleased with the CFPB's sharp corporate turn.
"I would request that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you know, actually protect consumers instead of kowtowing to banks and other large financial institutions," wrote Michael Novak, expressing a sentiment that was common among the dozens of comments that have been submitted since Mulvaney asked for feedback earlier this month.
"Clearly, he is a stooge in the pocket of predatory and negligent companies...and is looking forward to lining his own pockets with donations and favors from these companies," added another commenter, referring to Mulvaney. "Banana Republic-style corruption at the highest level."
As Common Dreams has reported, Mulvaney's actions since President Donald Trump controversially placed him in charge of the CFPB clearly indicate that "consumer protection" is not high on his list of priorities. Indeed, the bureau's new primary objective is no longer protecting consumers—it's ensuring that consumers "have access to markets for consumer financial products and services."
Now Americans are getting a chance to voice their opposition to these changes to a bureau that, under its previous leadership, was broadly popular. The comment period ends April 13. Click here to tell Mulvaney what you think about the CFPB under his leadership.
What follows is just a small sample of the more than 70 comments that have been submitted, some of which were compiled by Splinter's Libby Watson, who observed that "the public comments so far have been almost exclusively in favor of the CFPB continuing to levy fines against banks."
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This agency started doing great works on behalf of Main street originally. Then under the present administration with Mulvaney at the helm, all of the agency is protecting the banks and Wall street, exactly what it was set up to not do. Just disgusting.
We are paying attention and want the agency to do its job. Equifax was criminally negligent and careless. This affects real people and their abilities to move forward with their life. Do your job. Investigate, hold them to account, and protect the public, who are at the mercy of the credit score companies.
The CFPB should aggressively pursue predatory pay-day lenders, big banks abusing their customers, obscene credit card practices, and more. The fines you have enforced so far don't go far enough to punish the amoral vampires feeding on the American consumer. But now that you're being led by one of those vampires I guess that's all going to change. I'm beyond disappointed in my government and especially Mick Mulvaney.
Mick Mulvaney is putting the interests of predatory lending companies and fraudulent banks ahead of the interests of consumers. He's violating the very mission of the bureau he's been appointed to lead. It's corruption, plain and simple.
I am very much against the weakening/watering down of the bureau's mission since Mick Mulvaney became acting head. The fact that a person who declared the CFPB a "sick, sad joke" has been named acting head of the bureau is a clear-cut example of regulatory capture. In essence, a fox has been chosen to guard the henhouse.