An instance when Washington’s glacial pace would have been helpful

Looking for another reason to fear Washington? Bloomberg Businessweek offers this one: The dreaded Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has exited “startup mode.”

It has trained its staff, is redesigning its offices, and hosts internal “lunch and learn” sessions on work-life balance. It’s also ticking through its daunting Dodd-Frank to-do list, including requirements to write 44 specific rules, publish 11 reports, and conduct four studies, according to the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell’s analysis of the law.

In addition to monitoring banks, the CFPB oversees debt collectors, private student lenders, credit reporting firms, and payday lenders. Many of these businesses have never been under federal supervision. “The challenge is there is not the same compliance culture in some of these nonbank entities that there is in banks,” says Richard Cordray, who succeeded Warren as head of the bureau a year ago. (Warren was elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts in November.) “If we rebuild trust in these markets and make them more reliable and more accountable, that’s in everybody’s interest,” Cordray says.

Want to place bets on how much the additional bureaucratic oversight from Washington will help consumers?

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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