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Posts Tagged ‘Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’

From the Huffington Post

“The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday praised a move, already panned by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), to increase the amount of money the federal government pays its student loan contractors.

In a speech here to consumer rights advocates, Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin said her colleagues at the Education Department had recently boosted the amounts paid to companies that handle borrowers’ monthly payments in hopes that better financial incentives will drive them to improve their customer service and work harder to help borrowers avoid costly loan defaults. These companies include Nelnet Inc. and Navient Corp., the former loan servicing arm of student loan giant Sallie Mae.

What Raskin neglected to mention Thursday is that taxpayers will fund a bump in pay for the student loan servicers even if their performance does not improve.

In September, under withering questioning from Warren, a top Education Department official conceded that the companies will get more money regardless of any changes they make to their operations. At the time, the senator was incredulous.

“Let me get this straight: You break the law. You don’t follow the rules. You treat the borrowers badly,” Warren said of the loan servicers. “And you all just renegotiated the contracts to make sure that across the portfolio, [loan servicers] are going to make a little more money if nothing changes?”

“The idea of the renegotiation was to help the borrowers, not to make the servicers richer,” Warren told William Leith, chief business officer for the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid, which handles student loans.

With unpaid student debt approaching $1.3 trillion during an era of stagnant wages and low employment, federal agencies including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Reserve and Treasury Department have taken an increased interest in the potential fallout from educational loans. Private-sector advisers ranging from chief executives of banks to Wall Street’s top traders warn that rising loan balances could inhibit U.S. economic growth.”

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US Senator Elizabeth Warren is an honest politician. And she sounded like a champion of the 99 percent during an interview with Salon.com when she bashed President Obama for kowtowing to the interests of Wall Street ahead of the American people.

Warren praised Obama for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency aimed at enforcing consumer protection laws. However, Obama’s financial ties with the elites of Wall Street came under closer review.

Warren told Salon that “there has not been nearly enough change” in the wake of the U.S. financial crisis.

“He picked his economic team and when the going got tough, his economic team picked Wall Street. …They protected Wall Street. Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. Not young people who were struggling to get an education. And it happened over and over and over.”

On lobbyists: Banks spend millions on “armies of lobbyists and lawyers,” she told Salon, but there are few people at “the decision-making table” representing the concerns of everyday Americans.

“And when that happens — not just once, not just twice, but thousands of times a week — the system just gradually tilts further and further.”

Under Obama, during the greatest crisis since the Great Depression, in which massive fraud and money laundering for drug cartels and other crimes were committed by Wall Street executives and their employees, not a single person was charged by Obama’s Justice Department. “I’m the only one standing between you and the pitch forks,” Obama told a group of Wall Street executives during the height of the crisis. He was right, and he did his job for them. Goldman Sachs was the largest of his campaign financiers.

Under George W. Bush, people actually were charged with crimes in corporate scandals, and sent to prison, such as the Enron and Worldcom scandals. Under President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton, over a thousand people were convicted of felonies for their parts in the savings and loan scandal.

This indicates how corrupt to the core the government of the United States has become, and  it’s not just Obama. It’s both major political parties, all Republicans in congress, and 90 percent of all Democratic lawmakers. The system is awash in money and corruption, all the way to the corporate wing of the US Supreme Court. The political and economic games are completely corrupted and rigged against the middle class.

For the complete interview, click on the link below.

Elizabeth Warren on Barack Obama: “They protected Wall Street. Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. And it happened over and over and over”–Salon.com

 

 

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At a Senate Banking Committee hearing last Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rebuked Republicans for blocking Richard Cordray’s confirmation as director of her brainchild, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Republicans fought tooth and nail against Cordray’s confirmation in 2011. President Obama got tired of their whinning like little cry babies and bypassed the Senate using a recess appointment to grant Cordray a temporary term until the end of 2013. Republicans are threatening to filibuster him this time around unless the CFPB is drastically restructured.

Warren said during the hearing,

What I want to know is why every banking regulator since the Civil War has been funded outside the appropriations process — but unlike the consumer agency, no one in the U.S. Senate has held up confirmation of their directors demanding that that agency or those agencies be redesigned…I see nothing here but a filibuster threat against Director Cordray as an attempt to weaken the consumer agency. I think the delay in getting him confirmed is bad for consumers, it’s bad for small banks, bad for credit unions, for anyone trying to offer an honest product in an honest market. The American people deserve a Congress that worries less about helping big banks and more about helping regular people who have been cheated on mortgages, on credit cards, on student loans and on credit reports. I hope you get confirmed. You have earned it, Director Cordray.

Watch the action below.

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“If you’d like to know why Republicans are trying to shut down the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, take a look at three things the agency has already accomplished in its first 18 months:

1. It called a halt to predatory practices by mortgage lenders, ensuring that borrowers are not saddled with loans they can’t afford and preventing brokers from earning higher commissions for higher interest rates.

2. It won an $85 million settlement from American Express, which it accused of deceptive and discriminatory marketing and billing practices.

3. It opened an investigation into questionable marketing practices by banks and credit card companies on college campuses, which often take place after undisclosed financial arrangements are made with universities.

The consumer bureau has taken seriously its mandate to protect the public from the kinds of abuses that helped lead to the 2009 recession, and it has not been intimidated by the financial industry’s army of lobbyists. That’s what worries Republicans. They can’t prevent the bureau from regulating their financial supporters. Having failed to block the creation of the bureau in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, they are now trying to take away its power by filibuster, and they may well succeed.”

It looks like the consumer bureau is taking its mandate seriously enough to protect the public from the kinds of abuses that helped lead to the 2007-09 recession, brought on by redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent over the previous thirty years, as well as abuses by Wall Street frims. The agency has not been intimidated by the financial industry’s army of lobbyists. That’s what worries Republicans. They can’t prevent the bureau from regulating their financial supporters. Having failed to block the creation of the bureau in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, they are now trying to take away its power by filibuster, and they may well succeed.

“The bureau cannot operate without a director. Under the Dodd-Frank law, most of its regulatory powers — particularly its authority over nonbanks like finance companies, debt collectors, payday lenders and credit agencies — can be exercised only by a director. Knowing that, Republicans used a filibuster to prevent President Obama’s nominee for director, Richard Cordray, from reaching a vote in 2011. Mr. Obama then gave Mr. Cordray a recess appointment, but a federal appeals court recently ruled in another case that the Senate was not in recess at that time because Republicans had arranged for sham sessions.

If this is upheld by the Supreme Court, is likely to apply to Mr. Cordray as well, and that could invalidate the rules the bureau has already enacted. The president has renominated Mr. Cordray, but Republicans have made it clear that they will continue to filibuster, using lying arguments to keep the agency from operating.

A week ago, 43 Senate Republicans wrote the president, and vowed to block any nominee if “key structural changes” are not made. This includes a “bipartisan commission” to run the agency, which most likely will be made up of Wall Street drones.

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