The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was designed by the Obama administration, under the leadership of Elizabeth Warren, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act. One of its purposes is to root out discrimination in financial markets.
But many women and minorities who work at the CFPC believe that the agency discriminates against them on the basis of gender or race. This the finding of the Government Accounting Office (GAO), which surveyed CFPC employees.
Twenty five percent of black, Asian and female employees of the bureau told the GAO that “they had been discriminated against at the CFPB.” The same percentage of black employees and 20 percent of Hispanic employees told the GAO that racial differences are not respected or valued by the bureau’s top officials.
Now, it’s important to note that believing one has been discriminated against is not the same thing as actually experiencing actual discrimination (I know I’m being hopeless old-fashioned here). Similarly, it may be that top officials at CFPC fully respect and value “diversity” even though a sizable minority of Black and Hispanic employees don’t believe this.
It’s easy to holler “discrimination.” Sometimes the complaints are justified; sometimes not.
It seems significant, however, that the GAO found allegations of employment discrimination to be especially acute in CFPB’s Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending Division (SELF). This office, the bureau’s largest division, is the shop that sanctions businesses for discriminatory practices in the financial marketplace.
The irony is obvious. Moreover, there is no apparent reason why employees in this office should be more prone to whining than those in other parts of the CFPC. Thus, there is good reason to believe that, at least in this large unit, a real problem exists in the treatment of minorities and women.
Why would that be? One possibility, mooted by Christian Adams, is that the white radical liberals who run the show “have contempt for minorities; they’re patronizing.”
Liberal racism. You could write a book about it.
A related explanation is arrogance. The CFPB enforcers have a reputation for bullying and high-handedness. Richard Pollock of the Daily Caller says that a number of businesses filed suit against the bureau. They charge that part of CFPB’s arrogance stems from the fact that the agency is not accountable to Congress or the executive branch.
This sort of arrogance, coupled with liberal self-righteousness, can cause government officials to believe they are above the law, including anti-discrimination law.
Congress is not amused by the GAO’s findings. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling says he considers the CFPB’s discriminatory practices “inexcusable.” He criticized CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s “half-hearted attempts” to deal remedy the problem.
Hensarling is not inclined to give the benefit of any doubt to the CFPB bullies when it comes to discrimination claims against them. Call it poetic justice.