How far will Mick Mulvaney go to destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from the inside? As far as it takes. He’s already zeroed out its operating budget for the quarter, and he’s been systematically winding down or just stopping the Bureau’s ongoing investigations. Mulvaney is systematically extracting every tooth that the CFPB has. That includes dropping the investigation of how one of the nation’s big three credit scoring corporations—Equifax—allowed hackers to steal the personal data of almost every American with a credit history.
Equifax (EFX.N) said in September that hackers stole personal data it had collected on some 143 million Americans. Richard Cordray, then the CFPB director, authorized an investigation that month, said former officials familiar with the probe.
But Cordray resigned in November and was replaced by Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s budget chief. The CFPB effort against Equifax has sputtered since then, said several government and industry sources, raising questions about how Mulvaney will police a data-warehousing industry that has enormous sway over how much consumers pay to borrow money. […]
Three sources say, though, Mulvaney, the new CFPB chief, has not ordered subpoenas against Equifax or sought sworn testimony from executives, routine steps when launching a full-scale probe. Meanwhile the CFPB has shelved plans for on-the-ground tests of how Equifax protects data, an idea backed by Cordray.
The CFPB also recently rebuffed bank regulators at the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency when they offered to help with on-site exams of credit bureaus, said two sources familiar with the matter.
Equifax has said it is under investigation by every state attorney general and faces more than 240 class action lawsuits.
But it’s no longer under investigation by the federal government because the Trump administration doesn’t give a damn. Mulvaney—who is Trump’s full-time director of the Office of Management and Budget—is the acting, part-time director of the CFPB, where he was apparently put in place just to hollow out the agency. Whether it’s protecting loan sharks who also happen to have been big donors to Mulvaney when he was in the House or allowing lenders to racially discriminate without fear of prosecution, Mulvaney is defanging the Bureau.
He’s working in this job part-time. He was never confirmed by the Senate to be in this job and his presence there is the subject of a pending lawsuit from the legitimate acting director, Leandra English. Following the line of succession set out in the law creating the CFPB, she is Cordray’s successor. That couldn’t be allowed, so Trump put in this squatter Mulvaney who has been vocal about his desire to make the CFPB go away since the agency’s inception.
Well, he’s fulfilling his wish—and he’s doing it at the expense of the financial security of every American.
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