From Our Future
A Trump-appointed judge has issued his ruling. Mick Mulvaney -- the Tea Party Congressman turned Trump apparatchik -- will run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The political extremist who once said the CFPB was "extremely frightening," who called it "a joke" in a sick, sad kind of way" and said he would "like to get rid of it," is now its Acting Director.
Mulvaney didn't wait for the judge's ruling before taking the helm. He showed up at the office bearing doughnuts for the staff.
Were the condemned being served their last meal?
A quick review of the CFPB website on Monday showed that he had already placed himself at the top of the org chart.
On his first day on the job, Mulvaney froze all hiring and rule-making, bringing the bureau's critical work to an effective standstill. The banks had won the first round. And Trump proved once again that, when it comes to fighting for working Americans, he's just another fast-talking huckster.The Bad Banker's Friend
Donald Trump was hostile to the CFPB from the start, and he said this as he shoehorned Mulvaney into the director's chair (in a tweet, naturally):
"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, has been a total disaster as run by the previous Administrations pick. Financial Institutions have been devastated and unable to properly serve the public. We will bring it back to life!"
Devastated? Wrong as usual, Mr. President. The CFPB began operations on July 21, 2011. Over the last five years, Bank of America stock has risen more than 180 percent. JPMorgan Chase's stock has risen more than 145 percent. Citigroup's has gone up more than 109 percent. Wells Fargo's is up more than 67 percent. None of these too-big-to-fail banks has suffered financially, despite committing the largest corporate crime wave in human history.
And now, Trump and Mulvaney plan to lift another burden from their shoulders. It's good to be kings ... of fraud. But then, Trump's been fighting for bad bankers from the beginning of his presidency -- that is, when he isn't appointing them to senior positions in his administration.Meet the Director
Who is Mick Mulvaney? He's Wall Street's flunky, a tool of the serial fraudsters who nearly brought down the global economy. Mulvaney took the lead in blocking an ethics investigation into the use of ex-lobbyists by the Trump administration, a move one Bush Administration ethics official called "unprecedented and extremely troubling."
Throughout the Obama years, Mulvaney insisted he was a hardliner on government deficits. He embraced his role as leader of the "shutdown caucus" that was willing to bring government to a halt rather than increase the nation's debt. He nearly derailed relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy victims with an amendment that would have blocked any expenditures that weren't offset by spending cuts elsewhere.
Then, as Donald Trump's Budget Director, Mulvaney embraced a package of tax cuts for the rich and for corporations that increases the deficit by $1.5 trillion, justifying it with f ringe economic ideas incubated in the far right.
That's a pretty convenient conversion. But no such conversion awaits Mulvaney at the CFPB. He hated it then and, as recent comments have demonstrated, he hates it now.Wrong From the Start
When the CFPB was created, Congressional Republicans immediately went on the attack. Sen. Richard Shelby attacked the bureau with a counter-proposal that would have forced regulators to "determine the economic impacts of proposed rule-makings, including their effects on growth and net job creation."