The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proved to be a fast-growing and complex agency causing both proponents and opponents to question its current practices. At an AEI event on Monday, panelists discussed the impact of the CFPB's regulatory power on the private market. Keynote speaker John Allison of Wake Forest University argued that financial regulations hinder innovation in the financial sector — innovation that would otherwise be evaluated in the free market.
Peter Wallison of AEI then discussed the constitutionality of the CFPB as an agency, which avoids the normal checks and balances of American government. Wayne Abernathy of the American Bankers Association discussed how the CFPB's broken promises have created a lack of transparency and a highly political agency that has yet to provide any benefit to the consumer.
Anne Canfield of Canfield & Associates noted that the CFPB has the opportunity to design a clear system of mortgage disclosure, but warned that it could also inflict further complications on the consumer by creating a piecemeal system. Jess Sharp of the U.S. Chamber Center for Capital Markets then discussed that although the CFPB has made mistakes, the agency is capable of meeting the business community halfway. In conclusion, Alex Pollock of AEI emphasized that the key issue is ensuring that borrowers can afford their mortgages through a basic and transparent methodology, which CFPB has failed to provide.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) — the highly controversial, actively growing and ambitious child of the Dodd-Frank Act — is approaching its first birthday. Its proponents and opponents agree on one thing: the CFPB was designed to avoid the normal checks and balances of American government.
Views are divided, however, as to whether this represents good Wilsonian administrative independence or a deliberate end-run around the Constitution; indeed, a challenge to the CFPB’s constitutionality has now been filed.
What has the CFPB’s brief history taught us about how it will use its extraordinary powers? What costs will it impose on the private sector? Should it — and can it — be reformed or abolished? What are its prospects in the courts?
The event will begin with a keynote address by John Allison of Wake Forest University. A discussion among a panel of experts will follow.