Category Archive: Research

  1. Liberal Attack Dogs Target Mick Mulvaney

    Leave a Comment

    If you’ve stumbled across the website, feel free to keep surfing. The website was recently launched by a coalition of left-wing activist groups to mislead the public about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its acting director, Mick Mulvaney.

    While the coalition—which includes Allied Progress, Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL)—touts the website as an “educational resource,” the rhetoric is anything but impartial. On one page, the coalition describes Mulvaney as a “payday industry puppet” and criticizes him for supporting “financial bottom-feeders.” On another, the coalition criticizes his “anti-consumer agenda.”

    The coalition only offers an education on left-wing activism. Allied Progress is run by Karl Frisch, a self-described “progressive” and longtime Democrat. According to his bio, he has “worked for a host of Democratic candidates, party committees, and progressive advocacy organizations on the local, state, and national levels.” AFR is hardly less partisan: The group’s executive and steering committees feature a host of union officials, liberal think tank representatives, and even a member of National People’s Action—a socialist group that advocates for universal healthcare and “climate justice.” And don’t forget CRL, which is funded by George Soros, the Ford Foundation, and other liberal mega-donors.

    The “Consumers Under Attack” campaign’s goal is not to educate us. It’s just to smear Republicans.

  2. Wait, What is the CFPB?

    Leave a Comment

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) needs a new marketing department.

    In 2016 alone, the CFPB’s “Consumer Education and Engagement” budget surpassed $42 million, yet most Americans don’t even know enough about the agency to form an opinion about it. In a recent national telephone survey, 81 percent of respondents claimed that they had no opinion of the CFPB because they lacked adequate information. This, despite the fact that the CFPB has penalized U.S. companies to the tune of $11.7 billion. (That’s right: $11 billion!) In a 2014 interview with CFPB Director Richard Cordray, Jon Stewart famously joked about the agency’s low profile: “You are in the consumer bureau of … commerce … and alcohol, tobacco, and firearms.”

    The newest polling suggests that the CFPB’s marketing shtick is falling on deaf ears—if any at all. Even Rohit Chopra, a former CFPB assistant director, admits that the agency doesn’t have “the most effective PR strategy.” This is a red flag given the CFPB’s 2017 budget: The agency plans to spend about $45 million on consumer outreach.

    If the CFPB is doing such wonders—as its staffers are quick to say—then why don’t regular Americans even know it exists?

  3. Former CFPB Attorney Blasts the Agency

    Leave a Comment

    In a recent National Review op-ed column, Ronald Rubin, a former enforcement attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), chronicled the CFPB’s formation and regulatory agenda. He also took us behind the scenes of the agency’s appalling hiring process:

    As screening techniques improved, Republicans were more easily identified and rejected. Political discrimination was not necessarily illegal, but attempts to hide it invited prohibited race, gender, religion, and age discrimination. In retrospect, the Office of Enforcement’s hiring process, which was typical for the bureau, violated more laws than a bar-exam hypothetical.

    The CFPB seems to have been successful in keeping Republicans out of the agency—research shows that every political donation made by a CFPB employee in 2016 was given to a Democratic candidate.

    Speaking of racial discrimination:

    Applicants who had represented financial-industry clients were routinely rejected, depriving the bureau of critical expertise and business perspective. A memorable exception sought to become only the second African-American female enforcement attorney. Following an hour-long debate that would have doomed most applicants, her verdict was postponed pending additional interviews. Her prospects looked good at a subsequent meeting until someone expressed concerns over her frequent use of the F word. She survived a second excruciating hour of debate, and worked for the CFPB just long enough to become a partner at a big law firm.


    White men over 40 received the opposite treatment. One attorney’s résumé was so spectacular that interviewers struggled to come up with plausible excuses to reject him. Finally, someone blurted out, “For the love of God, don’t hire him!” Cordray, who always spoke last, had no choice. He asked that the rejection letter be delayed until he could call the Supreme Court justice who had left a voicemail recommending the man.

    And then there’s the reign of Kent Marcus as the CFPB’s enforcement director from 2012 to 2015. (He’s now a counselor in Director Richard Cordray’s office.) See here:

    Markus, the new enforcement chief, exacerbated hiring biases by soliciting anonymous oral comments about colleagues competing for twelve mid-level supervisor positions. Similar illegal practices throughout the bureau resulted in a dearth of real-world experience, and then socialistic management schemes camouflaged by new-age nomenclature.

    Bias. Illegality. Socialism. CFPB.

  4. CFPB Redefines Political Bias

    Leave a Comment

    While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) claims to be a “nonpartisan organization dedicated to fostering an informed discourse on U.S. financial institutions policy,” a closer look at CFPB employees’ political donations paints a slightly different picture. According to a review of Federal Election Commission (FEC) data on 15 U.S. agencies and departments, 100 percent of campaign contributions made by the agency’s employees went to Democratic candidates.

    It leaves the CFPB tied for the country’s most politically biased federal entity—alongside the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Transportation Safety Board, and Peace Corps. By contrast, workers at the United States Agency for International Development and National Aeronautics and Space Administration gave 79 and 73 percent (respectively) of their political donations to Democrats. Even the Obama administration’s Justice Department was more diverse in its workforce’s political preferences. (Learn more here.)

    It confirms that, while the CFPB preaches nonpartisanship, one-sided politicking is the agency’s bread and butter.