LA Times’s David Lazarus Replies to GOP Presidential Candidates on CFPB

by Jeff Sovern

Here. Some excerpts: First, the attacks:

Ben Carson, second only to Donald Trump in Republican presidential polling, has called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the "ultimate example of regulatory overreach."

Candidate Carly Fiorina, former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, says the watchdog agency's investigative powers worry her "a whole lot more" than the National Security Agency.

And Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, also seeking the Republican nomination, introduced legislation in July that would erase the bureau from existence.

"The agency continues to grow in power and magnitude without any accountability to Congress and the people," he warned. "The only way to stop this runaway agency is by eliminating it altogether."

And now some of Lazarus's response:

Despite the ominous, fearful and largely bogus criticism by its Republican critics, the bureau has been steadily doing what it was created to do: safeguarding consumers from the greedy practices of businesses that think they can act without regard for the law.

* * *

In the four years since its founding, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has, among other actions:

•Forced credit card companies to return nearly $2 billion to consumers who were duped into signing up for costly add-on programs such as unneeded identity theft or disability coverage.

•Required that mortgage lenders verify in advance that a borrower can repay a loan. The subprime mortgage crisis during the Great Recession was precipitated in part by lenders irresponsibly handing out cash to almost anyone who applied.

•Helped secure $480 million in debt forgiveness for students saddled with high-priced loans from Corinthian Colleges Inc. For-profit Corinthian filled for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May and closed dozens of schools.

* * *

I'm not sure what Republicans mean when they complain about the bureau's "regulatory overreach" or describe it as a "runaway agency."

Any reasonable observer would think these guys seem pretty darn good at their jobs.

I can't do the column justice here, but if you are interested enough to have read this far, you should click on the link above and read the whole thing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *