Worse than any czar, Warren building independent fiefdom at CFPB
She hasn't been confirmed as chairman of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, but that hasn't stopped Elizabeth Warren from creating her own bureaucratic kingdom to rule.
From Business Week cover story (via Politico):
'Warren is not waiting for permission to do the job she may never get. She and her small team have hired hundreds of people, at a recent clip of more than 80 per month. The [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] has already outgrown its office space and is divided between two buildings in downtown Washington-with branches to be opened across the country. A fledgling staff of researchers is cranking out the CFPB's first reports, and its first bank examiners are being trained. Meanwhile, the office softball team has compiled a 2-3 record.... While Washington bickers, Warren has built the CFPB largely to her specs, and almost entirely free of interference from Congress and the Administration, which devotes most of its attention to fixing the economy. Few Cabinet secretaries can claim to have left as indelible a mark on the departments they lead as Elizabeth Warren has already left on the one she doesn't.'
The CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank financial regulation reform legislation. Liberals have been drooling to get this bureau up and running because at bottom, it gives the government unprecedented control of the nation's consumer lending institutions. It will almost certainly tighten credit for consumers because it criminalizes financial transactions where the consumer is either too stupid to understand the terms of the financial product they are buying, or too lazy to read the fine print. Financial institutions will be responsible for their client's understanding of complex financial instruments. They will be responsible to see that consumers don't lose money.
This means that most consumers will be denied creative mortgage financing. Getting you into a house will become secondary to protecting their own rears for banks and other lending institutions. Fewer consumers will be given credit cards and those getting them will have a much smaller credit limit. And forget giving most consumers the opportunity to play the market. God forbid, they might lose money. And then it's the broker's fault and he has the weight of the federal government come down on him in the form of the CFPB.
America invented giving the middle class credit. Participation in the markets by ordinary people was undreamed of 50 years ago. This has come to pass because of the creativity of the financial industry whose drive for larger profits allowed the middle class to buy homes, finance vacations, and save for retirement through participation in mutual funds and other long term investments.
Elizabeth Warren is out to destroy this system. Her minions will scrutinze transactions that end up with the consumer losing money and rather than forcing the consumer to take responsibility for their own stupidity or carelessness, blame will fall on financial institutions whose only crime was believing their client understood the terms of a loan or credit card. It will make credit for young people especially a very hard thing to get. This will slow new home buying and drive the value of existing homes down even further.
Yes, but at least Warren and her bureaucrats will protecet people from their own folly.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky