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CFPB Oversight

posted by Adam Levitin

I testified as a Minority witness today at a House Government Oversight Committee hearing on the CFPB.  It was a rather extraordinary hearing, not for the substance of the hearing, which was just the latest installment in the Elizabeth Warren witchhunt, but for the exchange between Professor Warren and the Subcommittee Chairman, Patrick McHenry, regarding the scheduling of the hearing. It has strange echoes of Joe Wilson's "You Lie!" outburst. 

 

Amazingly, this was only part of the exchange.  If you watch the full exchange on C-SPAN, it starts at about 56:00-58:00 and then starts up again at around 1:02:30 and runs until 1:09:30.  All of this followed a good hour of Professor Warren being asked questions but then being interrupted before she was able to give complete answers.  

Whatever happened with the scheduling of Professor Warren's testimony, let me just say that the Majority committee staff's handling of the scheduling in regards to me was less than exemplary. At some point this morning, the hearing was moved up by 45 minutes and moved to another hearing room. Majority committee staff, which handles the invitations and scheduling, never bothered to notify me of either of these changes. They did, however, send an email to all of the Majority witnesses. I was lucky to get word of the change from non-official channels. But otherwise, I might well have been late to the hearing.

It was probably just coincidence that only a Minority witness wasn't told of the schedule and room changes. Irrespective, this is no way to run a Congressional committee.  

Comments

Bullying 101. Hopefully these tactics (and no doubt worse to come) don't lead to another object lesson in why the best people don't go into public life.

I have to say that I was fairly disgusted by Cong. McHenry's performance yesterday. Then again, with your obvious exception, Professor, the rest of panel 2 was fairly industry serving as well.

I may have to schedule an appointment with Cong. Guinta. At least I can walk the 8-10 blocks to his office...

Unfortunately this is par for the course and why politics is a very dirty game - and one in which I choose not to play. The more concerning piece is the the "rumors" of a run for the Mass. Senate. My guess its getting floated by folks very close to the Democratic leadership. It kills two birds with one stone, takes Warren out of the CFPB equation and dies down the rhetoric over the agency and puts an excellent candidate in the seat to take out Brown. Of course, why you wouldn't want the person who originally conceived of the idea and shepherded it into existence - running it? Obama and Democratic leadership will either recess appoint her or try to get her to run but given the fight about to take place over the debt ceiling, I don't see the WH spending the political capital to put her up for an up/down vote.

BTW, Adam - we need to pick up our discussion at some point on interchange. I owe you guided tour through a sample issuer PnL structure and to show you the components that shift with transaction volume and which that flex with ANR/ticket size so that you can better understand the need for an issuer to have both a % of sales and a per transaction interchange.

Whatever one's opinion of Elizabeth Warren, she did not deserve the statements and counter statements in the recent hearings. I wish I was in the audience! Elizabeth has no political agenda other than trying to get things right because that is the right thing to do.

I have to admit I FB "Liked" the dude just to give him a piece of mind... Something I am reversing today! :)... Mike!..waz up man?

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