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Ten Things they Said about the CFPB

Adam Rust's picture

Posted January 5, 2015

Let's review a few of the most compelling things that were said about the creation of the entity that later became known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

Thematic Conflict: It is the Middle Class vs. Small Business Owners

"What we're talking about with this crisis is were just taking a bunch of middle-class people, hard-working people, people who played by the rules, and we're just knocking them out of the middle class. We're saying 'You go back down to the lower class.'" - Elizabeth Warren

“Why would we enact any legislation that would harm the ability of small businesses to access credit in the midst of a credit contraction? How many more jobs have to be lost? Under this bill it is simply inevitable that the big will get bigger, the small will get smaller, the taxpayer will get poorer, and the economy will become more political.” - Rep. Jeb Hensarling (re Dodd-Frank)

Thematic Conflict: Process and Procedure

"No matter how the decision [a recess appointment of Director Cordray] was reached in the White House, both houses of Congress should respond forcefully to this tyrannical abuse of power, and as soon as possible." - The Heritage Foundation

"Agency funding should be structured in a manner that provides stable, adequate resources that are not subject to political manipulation by industry....It would be equally impossible to assure the necessary degree of independence for a CFPA if its rules were effectively subject to veto by a political appointee such as the Secretary of the Treasury, or at the behest of a banking regulator." - Americans for Financial Reform

Thematic Conflict: It will help consumers. It will harm consumers

"Placing a weakened CFPA within the Fed would be like putting the Food and Drug Administration inside Pfizer." - Harold Meyerson

[A CFPB-style regulatory agency]  “is not a silver bullet for enhanced consumer protection. In fact, it may be a lead balloon.” - U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Thematic Conflict: Who Regulates Whom

"The White House is continuing to issue misleading statements in its efforts to get auto dealers wrongly included in Wall Street reform legislation. Much of what's included in its latest statement is pure fiction....These dealers are not banks. They are facilitators. And dealer-assisted financing is already heavily regulated - and should not be subject to double regulation....for the President....to malign an entire industry made of Main Street businesses run by dedicated men and women and their employees is shocking." - National Automobile Dealers Association.

"I joined colleagues in the other 49 states in attempting to fill the void left by the federal government....Not only did the Bush Administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye. The administration accomplished this through an obscure federal agency called the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency." -  Eliot Spitzer

Thematic Conflict: Are Markets Rational?

“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms.” - Alan Greenspan

"My sense is that this financial crisis is going to amount to a coming-out party for behavioral economists and others who are bringing sophisticated psychology to the realm of public policy. At least these folks have plausible explanations for why so many people could have been so gigantically wrong about the risks they were taking." - David Brooks