For six years, leaders at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have presented the agency as a beacon of independence, fairness and transparency. Its very existence is rooted in combating the complexity, opacity and conflicts of the consumer financial services market, most apparent in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
But the CFPB's approach to rulemaking paints a far different picture - one in which the scales are tipped against the very consumers the Bureau is meant to protect. Rulemaking on short-term lending, in particular, shows that it has weighed biased research and the views of political insiders over the needs and experiences of lenders and borrowers, who submitted nearly 1.3 million comments to the CFPB during the public comment period; they overwhelmingly opposed the rule.
This infographic highlights the out-sized influence of partisan politics, personal ambition and ideology of the CFPB.