US-Style Consumer Financial Protection

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US-Style Consumer Financial Protection

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Individuals serving corporate interests exclusively run the departments of agriculture, commerce, defense, education, energy, health and human services, homeland security, housing and urban development, the interior, justice, labor, state, transportation, treasury, and veterans affairs – along with the EPA, FCC, FDA, and other federal agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Its creation was authorized by the little enforced/now gutted 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act – enacted in the wake of the 2008-09 financial crisis.

It serves Wall Street interests, not consumers as mandated under Obama-appointed (current Senator) Elizabeth Warren, Raj Date, Richard Cordray, and Trump-appointed Mick Mulvaney – heading the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), along with serving as acting CFPB director.

On Friday, junior OMB deputy in charge of cabinet department budgets Kathy Kraninger was nominated to head the CFPB – a laughable choice, a woman with little or no regulatory or consumer and financial services experience.

A White House statement said the following:

“The president intends to nominate Kathy Kraninger as the new head of the consumer bureau, which was created under the Obama administration to curb abuses by banks, the payday lending industry and other financial services companies,” adding:

Kraninger “will bring a fresh perspective and much-needed management experience” to the CFPB, “which has been plagued by excessive spending, dysfunctional operations, and politicized agendas.”

It’s a toothless agency, beholden to Wall Street and other financial interests, failing to fulfill its mandate from inception – Kraninger to continue financial industry-accommodative practices as director if confirmed by the Senate – most likely not coming given her lack of relevant experience.

Her nomination may be little more than a delaying tactic to let Mulvaney continue as CFPB acting director – permitted only until June 22 under US law without a White House nominee to replace him.

He’s Wall Street’s man as OMB and CFPB heads, including gutting the latter agency more than already under his direction.

As a congressman, he called the bureau a “sick, sad” joke, co-sponsoring legislation to eliminate it.

As acting bureau director, he defied its mission. He prioritized “identifying and addressing outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome regulations,” publicly declaring no intention to “aggressively push the envelope” to protect consumers. 

He scaled back ongoing investigations, suspended new ones, while turning a blind eye to predatory payday lender practices.

Despite no evidence suggesting it, he claimed the CFPB hampers FIRE sector innovation and growth – comprised of finance, insurance and real estate.

Allied Progress executive director Karl Frisch blasted Mulvaney, accusing him of undermining consumer protections in deference to Wall Street and other financial predators.

“Kraninger has absolutely no relevant experience that indicates she is qualified to be America’s chief consumer advocate,” he added.

She earlier served as a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security clerk and as DHS deputy assistant secretary for policy.

Her nomination triggered a Federal Vacancies Reform Act provision, letting Mulvaney continue as acting CFPB director until she’s confirmed or rejected by Senate members.

She appears little more than a straw-woman nominee, a thinly-veiled scheme to let Mulvaney keep running the CFPB indefinitely.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.