May 25, 2018
Under the letter of the law, banks can now reenter the small-dollar lending space. On Wednesday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued new guidance encouraging banks to offer small-dollar installment loans. This follows the OCC rescinding prior guidance governing “deposit advance” products last year, which effectively enabled banks to offer a payday loan-type products again.
May 22, 2018
This week President Trump signed a resolution of disapproval overturning one of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s most controversial regulatory actions—the inappropriate application of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to auto-lenders. Axing the rule is both a great day for consumers’ access to credit and the rule of law, as I have detailed previously.
May 16, 2018
Just last week, Congress voted to overturn one of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s most controversial regulatory actions—a guidance document that was used to bully four major auto lending firms into enormous settlements. Overturning the action, which illegally stretched the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)—an anti-discrimination law—to cover auto finance companies, is certainly a step in the right direction. Yet to date, there has been no Congressional or regulatory action to address the underlying problem with the Bureau’s actions.
May 15, 2018
Today is the 21st anniversary of the initial public offering of a little company called Amazon. Yes, today Amazon is a behemoth, a supposed unbreakable monopoly, but back in 2000 it faced an uncertain future as an online startup going head-to-head with the “big boys” of Borders and Barnes & Noble.
May 8, 2018
Like clockwork, every so often a new member of Congress will rehash an old, tired idea: having the United States Postal Service (USPS) make short-term, “payday” loans. The latest rework comes from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who recently proposed her Postal Banking Act.
May 7, 2018
This week, Congress has a unique opportunity to repeal one of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s worst regulatory actions. Using the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which gives Congress 60 legislative days to overturn regulations, the CFPB’s indirect auto lending rule could be axed.
May 1, 2018
It’s May Day, and in the pages of the New York Times appears a paean to the halcyon days of the 1930s, urging a return to the “trust-busting” of that era. The new targets of interventionist ire are not “Robber Barons,” but the “Tech Titans” like Facebook, Google (and its parent, Alphabet), and Apple. As in the past, however, the real solution to dominant companies has been insurgent innovative companies. Facebook displaced MySpace, Apple appears to have displaced Microsoft, and Google knocked off Yahoo after...
April 25, 2018
After being attacked repeatedly for supposedly being soft on Wall Street and the “big banks,” Acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney was part of the Trump administration team that on Friday hit Wells Fargo with a fine of $1 billion. The CFPB levied this fine jointly the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
April 3, 2018
On Monday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its first semi-annual report to Congress under its new Acting Director, Mick Mulvaney. A routine procedure that typically outlines the work of the Bureau over the past year as well as any upcoming initiatives, Mulvaney used his first report to highlight the unique problems with the Bureau’s structure—problems that only Congress can fix.
March 27, 2018
While the United States continues to have healthy development of financial technologies—thanks predominately to unparalleled access to capital and technology—it is at risk of falling behind to nations such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and many others who provide greater accommodation to technological disruption.