The primary objection to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created as part of the mammoth Dodd-Frank legislation passed in 2010, has been its unaccountability. It "is ensconced within the Federal Reserve," which frees it from congressional and presidential oversight. Even the Fed "is statutorily prohibited from 'intervening' in CFPB affairs."
It should surprise no one that Richard Cordray, the unaccountable agency's director, seems to believe that he and his kingdom are untouchable. Cordray, a Democrat who not coincidentally has been mentioned as a possible down-the-road candidate to be Ohio's governor, has, according to a whistleblower, presided over a "'pervasive' culture of intimidation and hostility within the bureau." Further, according to the Washington Free Beacon's coverage of the whistleblower's testimony at a House Committee on Financial Services hearing, Cordray personally told the whistleblower "to have her attorneys 'back down.'" a Wednesday story at the Politico by M.J. Lee represents nearly the full extent of establishment press coverage I could locate. Excerpts from Lee's Politico story follow the jump.
‘It’s not about the man.” That’s what Senate Democrats said about GOP opposition to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray before his successful confirmation vote on Tuesday, after enough Republicans caved to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s threat of the “nuclear option” of ending the 60-vote cloture rule for debate on nominees.
“There are no objections to him on substance,” White House spokesman Jay Carney declared earlier this year. And the most of the establishment Washington press corps – save Bloomberg News Service – dutifully relayed Carney s sentiments. This week, the Associated Press transcribed President Obama’s comments that “Republicans in the Senate refused to give Rich a simple yes or no vote, not because they didn't think he was the right person for the job, but because they didn't like the law that set up the consumer watchdog in the first place,” without citing any voices to dispute this.
Banks are bad because they make a profit on things requested by their customers, according to both NBC and CBS. The two networks highlighted a study released June 11 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [CFPB] that said banks made $12.6 billion in overdraft fees and non-sufficient funds from bounced checks in 2011. Though only 20 percent of customers actually opt-in for overdraft protection, NBC called these fees “one of the most common financial mistakes Americans make.”
Anchor Lester Holt opened the segment with alarmist, accusatory language: “A government report out today makes it clear just how much this country’s banks are profiting from your mistakes. We’re talking about those hefty overdraft charges when checking accounts are overdrawn. Well it turns out the banks are now making most of their fees from these penalties.”
Here is the operating motto of the Obama White House: "So let it be written, so let it be done!" Like Yul Brynner's Pharaoh Ramses character in Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments," the demander in chief stands with arms akimbo issuing daily edicts to his constitution-subverting minions with an imperious wave of his hand. His entourage of insatiable usurpers never rests.
Can't delude legislators into adopting a $1.5 billion Kabuki summer-jobs makework boondoggle? Create an unfunded program through executive fiat.
Scott Whitlock reported Thursday that ABC presented President Obama's non-recess "recess appointment" of financial regulator Richard Cordray as a "Consumer champion. Can this brand new man in town help you with your mortgage, your car loan, your credit cards?"
World News anchor Diane Sawyer on Wednesday hailed a questionably legal recess appointment by Barack Obama, praising the incoming arrival of a "consumer champion" who will "help" Americans with their financial problems. The program offered no skepticism as to whether a new, unrestrained bureau could harm businesses in America.
Sawyer teased the program, "Consumer champion. Can this brand new man in town help you with your mortgage, your car loan, your credit cards?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Instead of any questions about the bureau, reporter Cecila Vega featured Pamela Banks of the Consumer Union, a group that supported the recess appointment of Richard Cordray.
Washington Post scribes David Nakamura and Felicia Sonmez dutifully set out today to paint President Obama as the hero of the masses for his "bold act of political defiance" in naming "Richard Cordray as head a new consumer watchdog agency Wednesday, bypassing Republican opposition in the Senate that derailed his nomination last month."
Nakamura and Sonmez waited until the 10th paragraph in their 33-paragraph page A1 story to get to the Republican side of the argument, that "precedent, over the past two decades, has been that no president can make such an appointment during a recess of less than 10 days."
Wrapping himself in the mantle of Theodore Roosevelt's "National Greatness" agenda, President Obama urged the nation to stand strong and unite behind ... his umpteenth regulatory czar. Nothing symbolizes American strength and vigor more than another unaccountable Washington bureaucrat.
If Richard Cordray, the stalled White House nominee to enforce the Dodd-Frank financial bureaucracy, is not approved, the wheedler-in-chief warned in Osawatomie, Kan.: "Every day we go without a consumer watchdog in place is another day when a student or a senior citizen or member of our Armed Forces could be tricked into a loan they can't afford — something that happens all the time."