‘Systematically’ Backing off Consumer Protections and the ‘Evisceration’ of the CFPB

For those of you who are unaware, this week is National Consumer Protection Week. The Federal Trade Commission has made some announcements and held some events this week. One federal agency that has not seemed to embrace the fever? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

There have been a couple of articles published this week that illustrate how the CFPB is being “systematically backing off consumer protections” and how corporations could not be happier. Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the CFPB, has announced that the agency will no longer “push the envelope” when it comes to enforcing laws and has told state attorneys general that he is expecting them to pick up the enforcement ball and run with it.

Jeff Sovern, a law professor, has noted that the CFPB has yet to announce an enforcement action since Mulvaney took office. This professor calls what Mulvaney is doing an “evisceration” of the CFPB.

This, from Mark Totten, a professor at Michigan State University:

“There hasn’t been a lot that has been methodical about this presidency, but I do think Trump is systematically dismantling consumer protections.”

I’m not really sure there is a point to this article, other than to point out that everyone seems to cluing in to the type of CFPB that President Trump is interested in having. Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? That’s an impossible question to answer. It does seem impossible to believe that all companies started behaving properly the day that Mick Mulvaney was appointed the acting director. And I’m sure the CFPB was working on investigations when he came on board, so what happened to those?

I’ll let an executive with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have the last word:

Overall, business leaders are rejoicing over the regulatory reprieve after what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has decried as “eight long years of regulation run amok.”

Reducing rules — and avoiding new ones — is a “big win for American business,” Joe Johnson, the Chamber’s executive director for federal regulatory process review and analysis, wrote in a blog post assessing Trump’s first year. “Going forward, we should expect even more of what we saw in 2017 as the larger scale regulatory reform efforts . . . begin bearing fruit.”



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