SEVERE WX : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts

Mick Mulvaney fired us for advocating for consumers

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau acting director Mick Mulvaney has ousted a committed group of experts who volunt...

Posted: Jun 15, 2018 6:52 AM
Updated: Jun 15, 2018 6:52 AM

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau acting director Mick Mulvaney has ousted a committed group of experts who volunteered their time and expertise to ensure a fair marketplace for businesses and consumers.

The Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) members who were dismissed served the American people by advising the CFPB as required under the Dodd-Frank Act, which Congress passed following the 2008 financial crisis. We were members of that board.

CAB members are not lobbyists paid to promote special interests. Rather, the members engage in intense meetings to advise the CFPB about a range of issues related to consumer financial products and consumer education.

The current CFPB administration neither respects nor welcomes interactions with the CAB. Since Richard Cordray, the former director, resigned last fall, Mulvaney has canceled our meetings and many of our regularly scheduled phone calls and has never taken the time to meet with us. In contrast, Cordray met with us at length three times yearly.

Mulvaney has completely silenced the voice of consumer advocates at an agency that is supposed to be about consumer protection. Worse yet, he has shifted the bureau's focus from consumer protection to easing the regulatory burden on financial firms. It was just this thinking that caused the last economic crisis. While underregulated markets allow profits for good businesses playing fair, they also provide profits for those seeking to take advantage of people. The CAB helped support businesses that were "doing right" while guarding against those that profit by exploiting consumers.

Mulvaney's CFPB hiring reeks of politics. Never before has the oversight of a financial regulator's operations been subject to such transparent political hackery. The new regime believes it is not accountable to anyone and makes decisions without input from the public and without valid justifications.

Anthony Welcher, a Mulvaney political appointee, was tasked with dismissing the CAB in a conference call Wednesday. Initially, he claimed that responses to a recent CFPB Request for Information (RFI) justified disbanding the CAB. Welcher quickly backtracked when questioned about this claim, admitting that he couldn't point to anything in the RFI responses that argued for kicking the current members off the CAB.

Welcher also said that the CFPB wanted a more diverse, smaller and inclusive group of members. This too did not hold water. The CAB members represent a wide variety of entities, ranging from large banks to community development organizations, and hailing from across the nation.

The disturbing irony of Welcher's diversity comment is that Mulvaney and the other political appointees have been meeting with a parade of representatives from financial firms while refusing to interact with people who care about consumers and American families.

Worse yet, these meetings have not been disclosed to the public, which means that the public doesn't understand that the CFPB is, in practice, the Anti-Consumer Protection Bureau.

In sharp contrast, the former CFPB director, Cordray, met with people from all constituencies and made sure the public knew of every meeting.

Welcher also suggested that town hall meetings and invitation-only roundtables can replace the in-depth conversations previously held with the CAB. Such engagements have significant value, and, until Mulvaney took over, were hallmarks of the bureau's outreach efforts. Reestablishing these forms of consumer engagement is completely unrelated to the composition and current effectiveness of the CAB, which serves a different purpose.

Welcher's flawed justifications are a smokescreen to cover Mulvaney's true mission: to destroy the CFPB from within. He already has stopped all new enforcement actions, cut off the fair lending and student loan offices at the knees, and threatened to hide from the public the consumer complaint database that helps consumers find the "good" banks that won't rip them off.

Mulvaney is employing secrecy, duplicity and name-calling to pave the way for the financial sector's bad actors to exploit the hardworking people of this country. The CFPB risks becoming a shell with desks and people -- and no consumer protection. If this happens, families still recovering from banks' misdeeds 10 years ago soon will face the possibility of another financial tornado.

If you want to preserve the good work the CFPB is doing for consumers, write and call your elected representatives and tell them you want the CFPB to start protecting consumers again.

Note: An earlier version of this article said Mick Mulvaney had cancelled all of the CAB's phone calls; some were not cancelled, according to the authors.

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 31°
Kokomo
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 31°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 30°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 31°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 25°
Crawfordsville
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 32°
Frankfort
Mostly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Delphi
Mostly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 20°
Monticello
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 20°
Logansport
Mostly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 28°
A sunny and mild day is expected! Changes arrive through the weekend
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
Franklin292744
Perry290553
Vermillion283658
Tipton251167
Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
Unassigned0595

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events