From: The Hill
By Thomas Bezas
It is the most powerful agency you have never heard of, and it should be catapulted to the top of the growing list of federal agencies under scrutiny for abusing their authority. The behavior of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is not a rehash of the NSA or IRS scandals; it is bigger and it is time people took notice.
Cloistered in the Federal Reserve, this secretive agency has perhaps the broadest mandate of any government agency, yet the least amount of oversight. It has the power to regulate virtually every financial product offered in the nation. From mortgages to credit card transactions, the agency wields a power that can change the way every American banks, shops, obtains a loan, accesses education, and manages their personal finances.
It was created to presumably protect consumers from the unscrupulous practices of banks and other bad actors in the financial services industry. Their charge is to investigate financial institutions and non-bank entities who offer financial products then promulgate regulations and create enforcement actions to address practices the CFPB deems unfair or fraudulent.
Driving the agency’s work is Director Richard Cordray and a core group of staffers from both President Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s campaign teams. One senior advisory board member is even the former vice presidential nominee of the Socialist Party of the United States. Many of these folks have a substantial political pedigree but little experience in financial services.