The Trump administration’s lack of dedication to oversight and regulations, especially on all things business-related, has been troubling to say the least. Tax breaks and incentives given to large corporations, decreasing accessibility to international trade routes, and an array of other damaging factors have been at the forefront of his agenda.
Unfortunately, however, his policies and influence have reached into very pertinent components of America’s economic fabrics, leaving many citizens in the middle and lower economic classes subject to the manipulative, devious, and often discriminatory practices of those who operate in the banking and lending industries.
Many of these corporations have been complicit in deceitful actions against struggling Americans, either through denying them loans on little to no justification, or taking advantage of needy citizens by locking them into contracts with inordinately high interest rates. Whereas recently there has been greater oversight regarding the practices of such lenders, the current administration is aiming to eliminate the regulations.
On Thursday, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Mick Mulvaney, stripped the authority of a division of the agency, which was responsible for enforcing laws regarding lending discrimination. In doing so, Mulvaney stated in an email to the staff that the powers of the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity would be transferred to be under his personal overview, claiming that the reason for doing so was in order to streamline the agency’s operations. The email further outlined that, rather than enforcement-related responsibilities, those staffed in the division will focus on educating and advocating on lending discrimination issues.
Mick Mulvaney is Dispicable > Trump administration strips consumer watchdog office of enforcement powers in lending discrimination cases https://t.co/AH6keYXw74
— Judee Flick (@judeeflick) February 2, 2018
Mulvaney, who has started making drastic and detrimental changes in the CFPB, has gone further in making lending practices less regulated and more open for such corporations. According to a Chicago Tribune report,
‘Beyond moving the fair-lending office, Mulvaney has also dropped a lawsuit against payday lenders and said the agency will reconsider rules the financial industry complained would be particularly onerous. He also updated the bureau’s mission statement to include addressing “outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations.”
In a memo to staffers last week, Mulvaney said the CFPB would no longer attempt to “push the envelope” in enforcement cases. “We are government employees,” he wrote. “We don’t just work for the government, we work for the people: those who use credit cards and those who provide them.”‘
Payday lenders contributed over $60k to @MickMulvaneyOMB’s political campaigns. Now at the CFPB, Mulvaney is protecting predatory lenders instead of consumers. @RepMaxineWaters & I want to know if that’s more than coincidence. pic.twitter.com/0TdCDBkwSR
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 31, 2018
BREAKING: CFPB Drops Investigation Into Payday Lender That Contributed To Mick Mulvaney's Campaigns
In other words….
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau drops investigation into the head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) January 23, 2018
The various actions taken by Mulvaney, who previously held office as a GOP congressman, sheds light on the ongoing desire by the current administration to reduce equal opportunity on an array of issues. Rather than focusing in on the consumer-related issues that the agency stands for, the director’s behavior and reforms have revolved primarily around the interests of large corporations operating within the financial industry.
Somebody reassure me that Mulvaney is on Mueller's corruption list….. https://t.co/g8tLtaeSZ9
— Chuck Sawyer (@cgs1066) February 2, 2018
Democratic lawmakers and advocacy groups have cried out in outrage against Mulvaney’s policies, stating that the acting director is attempting to dismantle the agency from within, and leave consumers around the country vulnerable to profit-driven corporations, and without a powerful watchdog to protect the very real needs that Americans face in the financial sector.
Featured image by Cheriss May/Getty Images