According to a new report in The Washington Post, the Trump administration has "stripped enforcement powers away from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau office that specializes in pursuing cases against financial firms for breaking discrimination laws." Meaning, Wall Street can resume illegal discrimination against people of color in its lending practices, with no fear that the government will do a thing about it.
The Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity had imposed penalties on lenders that it said had systematically imposed higher interest rates on minorities than whites.
Now that office, which had been part [of] a powerful CFPB division, will move inside the office of director, where staffers will be focused on “advocacy, coordination and education,” according to an email Mulvaney sent them this week. They will no longer have responsibility for enforcement and day-to-day oversight of companies, he said. […]
Civil rights and consumer groups said that separating the Office of Fair Lending from its enforcement power weakens its power to pursue cases.
“These changes … threaten effective enforcement of civil rights laws, and increase the likelihood that people will continue to face discriminatory access and pricing as they navigate their economic lives,” Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform said in the statement. […]
Beyond moving the Office of Fair Lending, Mulvaney has also dropped lawsuits against payday lenders and said the agency would reconsider aggressive rules the industry complained would cripple it. In a memo to staff last week, Mulvaney said the CFPB would no longer attempt to “push the envelope” in enforcement cases. “We are government employees. We don’t just work for the government, we work for the people: those who use credit cards and those who provide them,” he said.
There's your clue right there. It's the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, not the Chase Bank Protection agency. Redefining the Bureau is part and parcel of Mulvaney's job—he's been put in charge of destroying it. Moving the Fair Lending office under Mulvaney's direct control is clearly a move to neuter any enforcement power.
This is after he zeroed out the Bureau's budget. Literally. He sent a funding request for $0 to the Federal Reserve. Clearly, he's intending to bankrupt the agency, using up the $177 million it currently has on hand and to let it wither away. So that the consumers of this country—with a special emphasis on people of color—can be preyed upon by lenders again.