The Sovietization of the CFPB?

by Jeff Sovern

The old Soviet Union assigned political officers, called zampoliti, to military units to monitor the units for political correctness, as the Soviets defined it, among other purposes. According to an American Banker article authored by Kevin Wack, Mulvaney's plan to embed political staffers in CFPB sparks backlash, the purported Acting CFPB Director, Mick Mulvaney, is contemplating a similar course. Here's an excerpt:

For "every major branch of CFPB – enforcement, rulemaking, education, legal, maybe somebody in the Northeast division, somebody in the Southeast division, somebody out West," Mulvaney said he would "try to marry that branch's senior staffer … up with a political position."

Congress designed the CFPB to be an independent agency in the mold of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board. Those agencies typically have far fewer political appointees than other parts of the executive branch.

At the OCC, the only political appointee is Comptroller Joseph Otting, a spokesman said Tuesday. Members of the FDIC's board are political appointees, but the agency has just one additional political staffer, according to a spokeswoman. And the Federal Reserve Board has no political staff appointees, though its board members are confirmed by the Senate.

If Mulvaney trusted the CFPB staffers, it is hard to see why such actions would be needed. What a shame that an agency which has been so effective at protecting consumers is being treated in such a fashion.


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