(TriceEdneyWire.com)—“Personnel is policy,” says Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs recently named to head President Trump’s National Economic Council. He got that right, and every working family should shudder that Trump—after railing against the corruptions of Goldman Sachs and other big banks in the campaign—has put six former Goldman Sachs bankers at the head of his economic team.
Their first priority is to roll back bank regulation, and, as Gary Cohn told the Wall Street Journal, one of their first targets is to disembowel the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The CFPB was created in the Dodd-Frank banking reforms passed after the excesses of the banks helped blow up the economy. Led by Elizabeth Warren (then a Harvard Law professor, now a U.S. senator), consumer and civil rights groups pushed for it against the full force of the banking lobby. The agency’s sole mission is to protect consumers against the scams and schemes of fraudulent banks and lenders. Led by Richard Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general and treasurer, it has been a stunning success, recovering nearly $12 billion for 27 million consumers from the lenders who cheated or defrauded them.
The CFPB is the champion of what Trump calls the forgotten working families of America. It has protected veterans and military families, recovering $100 million from lenders who preyed on them. It recovered over $480 million for students who were deceived by for-profit chains peddling fraudulent products. It has moved against the payday lenders that gouge low-wage workers. It is about to issue rules prohibiting payday loans with interest of 300 percent or more—literally immoral loans that earn the Bible’s condemnation of usury.