Shadowy federal bureau
probably has your credit card information
By M.D. Kittle
agency that has harassed and intimidated businesses and tapped into
Americans’ credit card information continues to grow effectively
unchecked, all in the name of “consumer protection,” according to a
government watchdog group.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau remains “the most out-of-control,
unaccountable, and nontransparent agency in the federal government,” Brian Wise,
senior advisor to the US Consumer Coalition, told Watchdog.org this week on the
Vicki McKenna Show, on NewsTalk 1310 WIBA.
“And we can say that without reservation because this is one of the only
agencies that literally operates outside of congressional oversight,” added
Wise, whose Virgina-based organization “works to protect consumers’ right to
access free-market goods and services.”
THEY KNOW: The shadowy Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has tapped into
information on nearly every credit card issued in America – all in the name of
The CFPB, created under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, is funded largely by fees banks
pay to the Federal Reserve.
While its director, Richard Cordray, has bragged that his bureau has levied more
than $141 million in fines used for CFPB education programs or reparation to
consumers, the agency has mined a broad base of consumer information in its
pursuit of “protection.”
Critics contend the CFPB’s data-collection program makes the National Security
Agency’s spying operations look like a creepy guy with a telephoto lens by
“The CFPB had a goal of collecting 95 percent of all credit card account
information by the end of 2015, and by all accounts they met that,” Wise said.
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The agency is using the information to go after the kinds of
businesses the Obama administration doesn’t care for – payday
lenders, gun merchants, smoking-accessory retailers and dozens more
that have made CFPB’s enemy’s list.
The bureau presided over the U.S. Department of Justice’s Operation
Choke Point, a campaign to cut off the credit lines of targeted
Wise said now that the DOJ and the FDIC have bailed on the
controversial initiative, CFPB has taken over the entire operation
and is calling it another name.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute is suing the bureau on the
grounds that CFPB is unconstitutional.
In another case, where the CFPB is suing the bankruptcy services
firm Morgan Drexen, the bureau has claimed unsuccessfully that it is
exempt from depositions.
This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the CFPB continues
to grow unchecked, adding investigators, examiners and
administrative staff. Bureau officials told the Journal that the
agency in 2015 handled 59 cases in which companies settled
“allegations of wrongdoing and 11 cases that led to lawsuits.”
That’s double the number from 2014.
Despite increased congressional scrutiny, Wise said he expects a
rapid expansion of the CFPB’s activities in this last year of the
“There is literally nothing stopping them from pursuing their
agenda,” he said.
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