Mick Mulvaney has gotten an awful lot done in his role as part-time acting director of an agency he once called a “sick, sad joke,” the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. All of it—including this week’s move to end a probe into a payday lender charging poor people 200% interest—has been almost a perfect inversion of what the agency’s name suggests it does, which is protect consumers. In case his staff weren’t getting the message, Mulvaney has decided to spell it out for them in a memo, which might as well have read, “Know your place.”
In a 1,118 word mission statement that was sent to the bureau’s staff on Tuesday, Mr. Mulvaney, the acting director, outlined a vision for an agency that enforces financial regulations and consumer protections with “humility and prudence” and that will no longer “push the envelope” when it comes to jurisdiction and scope. Mr. Mulvaney insisted that he would not shutter the bureau, if only because doing so would be against the law.
Of course, if those thick-headed “good guys” at the CFPB still can’t get it through their skulls that their new marching orders are, “do nothing,” perhaps this will do the trick.
The consumer bureau is funded directly by the Federal Reserve and sends the central bank a request each quarter for money for its operations. On Wednesday, Mr. Mulvaney sent a letter requesting $0 for the current quarter, which runs through March.
Mick Mulvaney Calls for ‘Humility’ from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [NYT]
Consumer Watchdog’s Latest Budget Request: $0 [NYT]
Newly Defanged, Top Consumer Protection Agency Drops Investigation of High-Cost Lender [ProPublica]