What’s in a Name? Consumer Bureau to Find Out
Mick Mulvaney’s days at the helm of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could be winding down. however he can be not planning to leave quietly.
Next week, President Trump can be supposed to nominate a replacement for Mr. Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management as well as also Budget who has been acting head of the consumer bureau since late last year. Mr. Mulvaney, a former congressman through South Carolina, has relished curbing the agency’s power — curtailing its enforcement activity, easing up on payday lenders as well as also urging the agency’s career staff to be more humble in their efforts to protect consumers.
A slow confirmation process could leave Mr. Mulvaney wearing two hats for an indefinite period, however he can be already thinking about his legacy at the bureau. In a round-table discussion with reporters within the basement of the agency’s building in Washington on Tuesday, Mr. Mulvaney reflected on the future of the C.F.P.B. — or as he calls in which, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
What’s in a name?
Mr. Mulvaney has long derided the mission of the consumer bureau, an agency born of the 2008 financial crisis as well as also created by the 2010 Dodd Frank law. He has pointedly remarked in which he can be legally unable to shut the agency down, telling staff in which “the law doesn’t allow in which.” Yet he has succeeded in internally neutering much of the agency’s enforcement power as well as also, perhaps most publicly, changing its name.
Unknown to most can be in which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can be actually the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, at least according to Title X of the Dodd Frank law, which created the agency.
Mr. Mulvaney has insisted on changing its nomenclature to reflect the agency’s statutory name as well as also has had completely new signs installed within the lobby of the bureau. Over the past few days, workers have engaged in a modest, organizational swap of letters as well as also the C.F.P.B. offices right now bear the abbreviation B.C.F.P.
“We changed the name because in which’s the name within the statute,” Mr. Mulvaney said on Tuesday. “If your whole theme can be going to be to follow the statute, I thought in which was a Great, modest way, however a very visible way, to send a message.”
in which can be also a not-so-subtle dig at the bureau’s biggest champion, Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who helped create the bureau.
however don’t worry about the cost, Mr. Mulvaney said. Changing the sign on the building was a wash, he said, because all they needed to do was rearrange the letters. The department can be ordering completely new stationery however will continue to use paperwork with the old logo until in which runs out.
“If in which gives people a chance to have fun with the acronym as well as also come up with all sorts of terrible names, in which’s how they use their time,” Mr. Mulvaney said having a mischievous chuckle.
Already some on Twitter have given their own branding, including Best Consumer Fraud Place.
Cutting costs on the way out the door.
In his White House job, Mr. Mulvaney’s annual budget proposals are largely ignored by Congress, which views them as a political messaging documents.
however at the consumer bureau, Mr. Mulvaney has real say over how much money can be requested through the Federal Reserve, which controls the agency’s purse strings, as well as also how much can be spent. Next year, Mr. Mulvaney will be asking for a deep spending cut of about 20 percent. in which could bring the bureau’s annual funding down to 2015 levels — or about $480 million.
Mr. Mulvaney said in which a lot of the savings could be found in reducing the agency’s travel budget, which can be within the tens of millions of dollars.
In January, Mr. Mulvaney requested $0 for the first three months of the year, saying the bureau was able to operate with leftover funds through enforcement actions as well as also unspent money. He can be among those who are pushing for Congress, not the Fed, to control the agency’s budget as well as also has said lawmakers should have oversight of the bureau’s budget as well as also function.
Staying out of succession planning.
Mr. Mulvaney has taken a hands-on approach to reforming the consumer bureau in his half a year in charge, however when in which comes to picking his successor, he says he can be purposely staying within the dark.
A shortlist emerged earlier within the year, as well as also Mr. Mulvaney said in which Mr. Trump had interviewed a finalist late last week who could be named as soon as next week. He said in which he has walled himself off through the process so as not to taint the person as well as also hamper their confirmation, given Mr. Mulvaney’s divisive tenure as the agency’s head.
however Mr. Mulvaney does think in which his eventual successor will be someone in his mold.
“They’d be happy to see someone sort of continue what we’ve began here during my first half a year,” he said.
Asked whether Democrats might accelerate the confirmation process for his successor, Mr. Mulvaney demurred.
“What, do you think they’re trying to get rid of me?” he quipped.
Back to the budget office. Probably.
He has enjoyed turning upside down an agency in which he could close if he legally could, however Mr. Mulvaney says he has no desire to make in which his full-time job. Directing the Office of Management as well as also Budget, he said, can be his Washington dream job.
“Does in which make me pull my hair out? Yes,” Mr. Mulvaney said of his official post. “Do I beat my head against the wall when I see the deficit numbers? Yes.”
He added: “If I left in which position, I don’t know who could be at the president’s table arguing for fiscal conservatism as fervently as I could.”
However, in which does not mean Mr. Mulvaney could not change paths at the president’s direction. He has, on occasion, been rumored to be a potential chief of staff for Mr. Trump, as well as also on Tuesday, he made clear in which he could not turn in which down if tapped.
“If the president asks you to be chief of staff, the answer can be yes,” Mr. Mulvaney said. “Do I think I could be Great at in which? I have no idea.”
Alan Rappeport can be an economic policy reporter, based in Washington. He covers the Treasury Department as well as also writes about taxes, trade as well as also fiscal matters within the era of President Trump. He previously worked for The Financial Times as well as also The Economist. @arappeport