Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), publicly said what many of us had long believed: corporate lobbyists have to pay to talk to their representatives in Congress or the executive branch. If they expect to have their views taken seriously by those in power, they have to be prepared to cough up the campaign contributions needed to get through the door.
Given the rules of engagement described by Mulvaney, it is hardly surprising that he is doing everything he can to undermine the purpose of the bureau he now leads. This includes suspending lawsuits and enforcement actions already in process and making it virtually impossible for the Bureau’s staff to initiate new actions.
He is clearly trying to give the financial industry a good return on their investment in his political career. In effect, he is telling the industry to do their best to find new and creative ways to rip-off their customers, and he will give them a government stamp of approval.
But there is some good news for those who don’t want to see more of the economy’s resources committed to rip-off schemes. The budget passed last month by New York’s legislature, and signed into law by Governor Cuomo, would create a state-managed 401(k)-type system which would cover every New York worker who does not already have a retirement plan.
While this part of the budget bill went largely unnoticed, it is a very big deal. Tens of millions of workers are approaching retirement with little other than their Social Security benefits to support them. While Social …read more