The worst-kept secret in Washington is that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray may be running for governor of Ohio. Whether that satisfies his political ambitions or not is unclear, given that if he wins he would have to answer to someone other than himself – the state’s taxpayers – a position he doesn’t seem comfortable with.
In a country loaded with way too many arrogant politicians and government officials who think they are above the law and normal standards of decency, Cordray has set the bar pretty low. Few public officials have shown the level of contempt for legitimate questioning from Congress, the White House and the industries his agency oversees than Cordray has shown since he took over the CFPB, and it’s only gotten worse in the past few months as his tenure winds down.
More seriously, his obstinacy, haughtiness, and lack of candor are likely to cost the agency a lot of goodwill and support in Washington, and possibly among the public. He owes it to the agency he helped build and supposedly loves to step down immediately before he creates more damage.
Now comes word that Cordray’s agency may have botched the Wells Fargo scandal – big time. Not only has there been previous evidence that the CFPB was lackadaisical in investigating the bank’s sales practices, at least a year after the Los Angeles Times reported there were problems, but now a recently released internal memo shows that the agency’s lawyers felt there was a strong justification to hit the bank with a $10 billion penalty, instead of settling for a paltry $100 million last September.
What’s up with that? Continue reading "CFPB Stays, But Cordray Goes"