Mulvaney’s Influence Takes Root at the CFPB

In recent weeks, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, the acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has made a number of key hires, including top employees from his budget office and two former staffers for Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, in a bid to reshape the CFPB, according to an American Banker article.

Given Mulvaney's appointments and most recent announcement of a significant change in the consumer agency's agenda, published in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, many are beginning to believe that the market will begin to see significant changes in the operations of the CFPB soon, because as more Mulvaney-appointed staff comes online, those bent on overhauling the agency will be better equipped to do so.

According to the American Banker, as is often said: Personnel is policy. So the staff being brought in now will be instrumental to establishing the framework for change that a Senate-confirmed director is likely to take up.

Naming Mulvaney to the acting director position — a move that continues to be contested in court —was like "the first landing crew establishing a beachhead," said Chuck Gabriel, president of Capital Alpha Partners. "You bring in these staffers and now you’re truly taking control."

It's expected that whoever takes over the agency permanently will stay the broad course outlined by President Trump, who has long called for sidelining the CFPB. But what exactly a slimmed down form of the agency might look like remains to be seen—and it is likely to be shaped by these early recruits.

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