Commissioning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
68 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2019 Last revised: 5 Aug 2019
Date Written: June 15, 2019
There has been much debate over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s lack of executive and congressional oversight: its single director removable only for cause and its operations are not subject to appropriations. This paper explains how this very leadership and accountability structure — intended to politically insulate the agency — had the perverse effect of politicizing it. Since Director Cordray’s departure, there has been increased regulatory uncertainty, discouraging financial innovation and harming consumer welfare. This paper recommends that Congress restructure the Bureau into a multi-member, bipartisan commission to provide industry regulatory predictability and ensure that consumer protection retains its independent seat in the financial regulatory system.
Keywords: financial crisis, CFPB, agency design, financial regulation, regulatory predictability, financial innovation
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