Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Wells Fargo Case And Democratic Demagoguery

The Wells Fargo Case illustrates what happens when government intervenes instead of leaves market forces alone

Recent news that Wells Fargo employees had opened as many as two million unauthorized customer bank and credit card accounts since 2011 was shocking. The bank fired 5,300 workers and agreed to pay $185 million in fines to the Los Angeles City Attorney, the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB's media blitz reduced the other two agencies to bystanders.

The CFPB has been more political theater than good government since then-law professor Elizabeth Warren prodded the Democratic president and Congress to create the bureau in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law. The law insulated the new agency from Republican participation through a single director structure and funding independent of the congressional appropriations process. Warren was elected Massachusetts's senator. The CFPB quickly became a single-party, clandestine organization whose top priority is self-promotion.

And even before that we had a study by Larry Summers and Natasha Sarin showing regulation cannot prevent such shenanigans.

No comments: