The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is nominally an independent federal agency. The Office of Management and Budget is not. Having as the leader of the former the same deeply unpleasant man as the leader of the latter pretty much puts paid to the former’s nominal independence. Now, we highly doubt that such was President Trump’s thinking when he asked Mick Mulvaney to burn the CFPB to the ground and salt the earth upon which its offices stood in his spare time as OMB chief, but it has proven helpful. Because Mick Mulvaney doesn’t think that the CFPB should be doing anything, really, not even making haste to stop rules he doesn’t like, and certainly not levying huge fines against America’s great, consumer-defrauding banks. But President Trump wants him to levy a huge fine against one of them, Bank of America, because otherwise he’d look as weak as he is addled. So President Trump said it in a tweet, which in 2018 American politics makes for a binding edict. And Mick Mulvaney apparently wants to go on being OMB chief.
The top U.S. watchdog for consumer finance is seeking a record fine against Wells Fargo & Co that could exceed several hundred million dollars for auto insurance and mortgage lending abuses, according to three sources with knowledge of the plans….
The fine would fulfill Trump’s vow to come down hard on the country’s third-largest lender, which has been grappling with a sales practices scandal since September 2016.