In Which the Prof Rhetorically Pelts His Best Friend’s Employer with Rocks and Garbage

The Artist Formerly Known as the Major (Ret.) has a new gig in the belly of the bureaucratic beast. Specifically, he’s now affiliated with Washington’s newest monstrosity, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As a consequence, he’s shared a couple of items of what I’m sure he sees as pro-CFPB propaganda via Facebook.

For example, he shared a blurb from Time that informs us that customers who are dissatisfied with their current banking arrangements now can take their gripes to the new government agency, apparently because switching to a bank they like better is an unconscionable burden that merits massive government effort . Likewise, he let us know that the nice folks at CFPB are also being paid tax dollars as a sop to the Occupy crowd to field complaints about student loans. It would seem that college students just aren’t smart or resourceful enough to be accountable for their voluntary financial decisions.

Now, never let it be said that I’m not a public-spirited citizen. As it happens, I used to write ad copy from time to time, both when I was in the magazine racket and when I was the Voice of Sears (Store #1730, Florence, KY). I think, therefore, that I will donate my talents to the CFPB by offering a few potential marketing taglines. Without further ado:

  • CFPB: Infantilizing Americans since 2012.
  • CFPB: Bribing you into dependency.
  • CFPB: Because only suckers pay their debts.
  • CFPB: Not just an unaccountable bureaucracy thriving on borrowed money… well, OK, I guess we are.

Come on, citizens — let’s put that smiley face on Leviathan!


About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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11 Responses to In Which the Prof Rhetorically Pelts His Best Friend’s Employer with Rocks and Garbage

  1. Withywindle says:

    Timor Nanny conturbat me–
    It’s OK!–she’s made me tea.

  2. majormaddog says:

    I feel like I should step in here and defend my honor and the honor of my new employer. Kinda hard, though, when your arguments against are along the lines of “this is something government shouldn’t be doing, or at least the federal government.” That’s what you say for most government agencies.

    But of course you know that I was on board with the mission of the CFPB long before I came to be employed by the CFPB. Still, now that I’m here, I find that I’m working with experts in the field and I feel like the mission of the CFPB really fills a necessary hole in the country’s regulatory framework. I’m working in investigations on the mortgage and home loan piece, so I suspect there’s going to be plenty for me to do once I get up and running (my first week or so has been orientation and training).

    I should also add that any opinions above or in future comments would be mine own opinions and not those of the CFPB ;-).

    • profmondo says:

      Would that be the infantilization mission you’re down with, or the moral hazard mission? And again, how is that mission worth mortgaging the Spawn and Mad Pup’s futures?

  3. majormaddog says:

    You see infantilization, I see an attempt to mitigate a regulatory structure and governmental policies which give great attention to making sure that big ol’ corporations and banks make tons of money, but which don’t do much for individual consumers.

    As far as moral hazard, you know we are at opposite poles in that area. I don’t think our mission here has a huge problem with moral hazard, but I figure if the government can ignore the moral hazard question in order to save the big banks in 2008 and 2009, taking complaints about the actions of those banks now is not any worse.

    • profmondo says:

      Well, I actually agree with you in one respect — the bailouts were wrong, not least because they let the camel’s nose (and forelegs, and hump, and three passengers…) get into the tent.

      And as amusing as I find the idea of different branches of the regulatory structure trying to sabotage one another, I think a better solution would be for the feds to “mitigate” their interference by, oh, I don’t know… getting out of the way. It’d probably be cheaper, too. But then, that wouldn’t let the government arrogate still more power over everyday life, would it? And heaven forbid that those poor innocent consumers have to think for themselves and make choices. That would mean self-reliance, and President Zero has warned us that’s something to be feared. We have to have more government, or people might realize they don’t need more government, right?

    • Skaggs says:

      I would like to point out that two of the “not muches for the individual consumers” were only to front thousands of dollars that I didn’t already have to attend the great institue of higher education based in Mondoville and to put a roof over my head that I may technically call my own.
      Also, is there a Student Loan Praise System in place? If I ever felt that it is government’s business, it would ease my mind to know that I could inform it of how my financial lending institution is meeting and exceeding my expectations.

      • majormaddog says:

        Two things. First, the point of an agency like this is to make sure that consumers have someone on their side. That’s not really necessary if you just want to tell the student loan originator or mortgage company or whoever that they’re doing a great job – keep it up. Second, there is a “Student Loan Praise System” in place. At the CFPB website, there is a page that is not for submitting complaints (it says so right there), but is instead for you to “Tell us your story, good or bad, about your experience with consumer financial products. Your story will help inform how we work to protect consumers and create a fairer marketplace.” I was just at a meeting with the Director of the Bureau, Richard Cordray, and he pointed out how the executives in the Bureau have a regular quota of stories from consumers through this portal that they read on a regular basis.

      • profmondo says:

        “[T]he point of an agency like this is to make sure that consumers have someone on their side.”

        Because the default assumption is that consumers (those folks we used to call “citizens”) are hapless victims, constantly at risk from those guys who look like Uncle Pennybags from the Monopoly game, who FORCE them to use their products, right?

  4. There’s a reason those holes are necessary.

  5. majormaddog says:

    I’m just not sure how to respond to your snark. Whatever windmill you’re tilting at disappeared decades ago. The financial system is set up now totally to the advantage of big corporations. The mission here is a step in the right direction, but it’s a small step. Arbitrarily drawing a line on the timeline of big events in financial services legislation to the left-hand side of this agency’s creation certainly does not further your goal of making everyone so much less dependent on government assistance. Eliminating this agency, however, will eliminate one of the few avenues that ordinary consumers have to deal with big banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions on a more even footing.

  6. Pingback: “No Sir, I Don’t Like It.” | Professor Mondo

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