The Atlantic: Mick Mulvaney Is quickly deregulating the financial industry

The Atlantic, Jan 5, 2018: Mick Mulvaney Is quickly deregulating the financial industry

In addition to plans for scrutinizing the agency’s budget, the temporary hiring freeze has become indefinite, though in December the acting director mentionedplans to bring on several political staffers in order to give “professional staff here … a better feel for where the administration wants to take the bureau.” Senator Elizabeth Warren has criticized those hires as a move to politicize an independent agency. The changes that Mulvaney is instituting also include slowing down the implementation of new rules, a moratorium on collecting identifying information that could tie individuals to the financial data gathered by the agency, and tweaks to the agency’s mission statement add up to a reorientation that could fundamentally have a big impact on the bureau and the work it does. (The bureau didn’t respond to a request for comment.)

Another telling change that’s come to pass since Mulvaney took over: changing the bureau’s mission statement, which appears on many public-facing documents such as press releases and emails. When Cordray, an Obama-era appointee, ran the agency, its mission statement read, “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.” In recent weeks, that statement was changed to include language that supports Trump’s broader push for deregulation, a somewhat odd addition for a regulatory body.

In full, the statement now reads: “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by regularly identifying and addressing outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations, by making rules more effective, by consistently enforcing federal consumer financial law, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.”

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