by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The CFPB was always a misbegotten enterprise. It was specifically designed to act as an agency free of constitutional restraints. There’s a reason the D.C. Court of Appeals described its set-up as ridiculously unconstitutional, stating, “when measured in terms of unilateral power, the Director of the CFPB is the single most powerful official in the entire US Government, other than the president. Indeed, within his jurisdiction, the Director of the CFPB can be considered even more powerful than the President.”
And [Richard] Cordray didn’t use the CFPB to protect consumers as much as to set up a protection racket. The CFPB would shake down companies into million-dollar settlements to continue funding the organization. The CFPB would then redirect millions of dollars into the pockets of firms connected with top-tier Democrats. …
… Meanwhile, the CFPB tried to crack down on legitimate businesses such as payday lenders. This was all about public relations, not consumer protection: the vast majority of people who interact with payday lenders need the money, and are willing to undertake the interest rates.
Even the supposed “big wins” for the CFPB, such as the $185 million Wells Fargo fine levied against the bank for opening millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts, were exaggerated; the CFPB failed to identify Wells Fargo’s abuses for years until a Los Angeles Times story awoke them from their stupor.
So, in short, the CFPB was a partisan organization set up for partisan purposes, but operating under a popular name.