Whew! What a week, huh? The Communists and the Anarchists have had a field day thanks to those "Honorable" justices down at the Courthouse. The Constitution has been pretty nigh rent asunder with a passel of SCOTUS decisions, most famously the King v. Burwell and Obergefell v. Hodges travesties. So what follows may not rate very high on the charts as far as public attention and interest goes, but it is important nonetheless.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created five years ago when the Democrats still controlled the Congress and Barack Obama was just shifting the Fundamental Transformation into second gear. This agency was supposedly to “look out for the little guy” in the matter of his finances, his dealings with financial and lending and credit institutions. In reality, of course, it’s conception was the product of the Leftist oligarchy seeking to speed the transformation of the US into a tyrannical police state, answerable only unto itself.
Banks and other financial institutions are already regulated, both at the national and State level, and have been, in most cases, for 100-150 years. The departments and agencies chartered to do so are too numerous to count. And of course we have (or used to have)this thing called republican forms of government and court systems designed to look out for you and me. This CFPB thing, the brainchild of reknowned leftist Elizabeth Warren, was just another layer of bureaucracy from which the communist goons could launch forays against the free market capitalist system that helped more “consumers” when it was a viable, unfettered economic engine than any government creature could if that was all it did. That is, all it really did.
So besides it’s redundancy and it’s false premises, what else could possibly go wrong? Well, the CFPB could use its platform to spread rumor, gossip, innuendo and lies, and by so doing actually accomplish the demise of those institutions which grease and oil private enterprise and individual initiative. Apparently, they are up to the task:
WASHINGTON – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is releasing thousands of complaints from disgruntled customers of banks, credit card companies and other providers of financial services.
The bureau posted a database of the complaints on its website Thursday over vehement protests from the financial industry. The database contains 7,700 complaints filed online by people who agreed to air their grievances publicly.
The database represents a small fraction of the 627,000 complaints the bureau has received in the four years it’s been operating. The CFPB began offering the option of allowing people to publicly share their complaints in March.
The names of the companies being complained about are shown, but any personal information about the people filing the grievances have been removed.
The bureau says it hasn’t vetted the substance of the complaints.
The bureau hasn’t vetted the substance of the complaints. But it is posting them on it’s public website! Rumors! It is publishing rumors, hearsay, unsubstantiated accusations containing the names of innocent until proven guilty parties. For what purpose? To shame them? To generate public displeasure with these entities based on the say-so of disgruntled or agenda-driven “citizens”, or, dare we say it? Deadbeats?
Publishing complaint narratives represents a milestone for consumer empowerment. Consumers now have the choice to share in their own words their experiences with the consumer financial marketplace.
Consumers are in control and based upon what we have observed since consumers began opting-in, giving us their consent to publish their narratives (after we’ve removed personal information), they are thoughtfully exercising this right and want to be heard.
Is it the mission of the CFPB to “empower” consumers? If it is, then allowing consumers to post unsubstantiated allegations on a government website,viewable by the public, certainly “empowers”…….somebody. But further, is what the CFPB did legal? Here is the relevant citation from the authorizing legislation:
(D)Data sharing requiredTo facilitate preparation of the reports required under subparagraph (C), supervision and enforcement activities, and monitoring of the market for consumer financial products and services, the Bureau shall share consumer complaint information with prudential regulators, the Federal Trade Commission, other Federal agencies, and State agencies, subject to the standards applicable to Federal agencies for protection of the confidentiality of personally identifiable information and for data security and integrity. The prudential regulators, the Federal Trade Commission, and other Federal agencies shall share data relating to consumer complaints regarding consumer financial products and services with the Bureau, subject to the standards applicable to Federal agencies for protection of confidentiality of personally identifiable information and for data security and integrity.
You make the call, but it seems to us the legal authority is for it to share complaint data with cognizant regulatory and enforcement bodies and not for it to publish a gossip column. Remember, the Bureau itself says it ” hasn’t vetted the substance of the complaints.” And while the complaint logs (linked to below) do indeed redact the personal information of the
deadbeats complainants, the corporate identities of those accused of slighting the complainants are prominently on display. Is that (dare we say it?) …..fair?
It is literally impossible for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to “protect” each and every one of the hundreds of thousands of consumers on file, assuming they are actual complaints, other than to do as the authorizing legislation says they are to do, which is to refer the complaints to the proper agencies. If we assume that the CFPB is actually doing that, which by the way could be done at the state level far more efficiently and, yes, constitutionally,, then again we ask, what could be the purpose of publishing unvetted accusations on an official, federal government website, other than to prejudice either public opinion or regulatory action by other federal or state agencies with the lurid tales contained in these complaint data bases?
Here is the link to the CFPB consumer complaint database. In the introductory paragraphs they reveal that they receive “thousands” of complaints every week. Thousands. Every week. OH, the humanity! The justification for the very existence of the CFPB can surely be found in the sheer volume of the …….unvetted…..unsubstantiated……uninvestigated ……unattributed……..”complaints”. Congress will surely increase their budget next year.
And so, after all that, what is the takeaway? The takeaway is that like everything else involved in the Fundamental Transformation, which we have pointed out before actually began decades ago – it just discovered the convenient Obama vehicle and hopped in and took off like a bat out of hell in 2009 – it doesn’t matter what the facts are, it is the “seriousness of the charge”. Whether the subject is “gun violence”, racial discrimination, gender inequality, anthropogenic global warming, American Imperialism, or mean old lending institutions or credit bureaus, there is only the proposition of malintent, and the feckless loyal opposition and the fickle public will swoon to the tune.
A perusal of a random sampling of the “complaint database” will find that the companies who respond in what the CFPB calls a “timely manner” in many, perhaps the vast majority of instances, state that they are following all applicable statutes and guidelines. And they probably are. And the CFPB, with the funding and investigative resources and knowledge of the presumedly educated people staffing it and leading it, KNOWS that these companies are chartered legally, acting lawfully and not discriminating against a class of
deadbeats “consumers”. The CFPB is taking license with it’s statutory authority by allowing the “consumers” to recite “narratives”. The CFPB actually calls them “narratives”, and in what they are doing they are attempting to paint a ‘grand narrative’ that the American capitalist system, complete with it’s adjunct banking and financing functions, is inherently evil. And they are delighting in it.