Interim CFPB director invites Kathy Kraninger up while Leandra English watches (illustrated)

For the last six months, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been leaderless.

Yeah, there was someone technically running the show: interim director Mick Mulvaney, moonlighting from his day job of running the Office of Management and Budget. But he’s no leader, and wasn’t a permanent solution.

Now Trump is ready to make the lack of leadership official, by nominating someone with no experience in consumer protection or financial services. Someone who many people in Washington have never heard of — even though she’s been there her whole career.

Her name is Kathy Kraninger, and this week I’ve been trying to figure out what she’s about.

A typical Trump nominee

On occasion, Trump listens to recommendations from qualified adults — Neil Gorsuch was one. But for every Gorsuch there’s a Ben Carson, a Scott Pruitt, a Betsy DeVos: People with no relevant experience for the enormous roles they’ve found themselves in.

Despite the lack of experience, these people have behaved predictably — working to deregulate and undermine the goals of the departments they “lead.” They have lots of power, but no wisdom.

Kraninger is no different. She at least understands federal bureaucracy, having worked in Homeland Security and, for the last year, under Mulvaney in the OMB. If she wanted to be productive and helpful to consumers, there’s at least a little potential she could. But there’s not much evidence she will.

Banks are thrilled

Groups that lobby for payday lenders, mortgage lenders, credit unions, and other banking associations all endorsed the pick. They’ve variously said she will “clean up the mess,” “stop abuse of power,” and fight “biased rulemaking.” Only the Mortgage Bankers Association seems to have even mentioned fighting “unscrupulous practices” in their endorsement.

That kind of says it all. She’s a blank slate, with no relevant experience, pushed by a guy who has scaled back the CFPB mission and asked Congress for a $0 budget, and liked by the people who worry about regulations.

There’s a small chance she might be rejected

While unlikely, it’s possible Kraninger might not get the job. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who helped found the CFPB, has said she plans to try and block the nomination.

Meanwhile, the original successor for the director job, chosen by previous director Richard Cordray, is still tied up in a court battle about the position. Leandra English should have been named acting director and continued the CFPB mission without interference. But Trump declared Mulvaney in charge, even though he already had a full-time job in the budget office.

Effectively sidelined by Mulvaney, English has lost that court fight a couple times already and keeps appealing the decision. But once a permanent director is confirmed, the fight becomes moot. And even if Kraninger fails, there’s no way Trump would nominate English, even though she is clearly the most qualified person for the job.

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Article last modified on June 21, 2018. Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Kathy Who? Meet the Next Do-Nothing CFPB Director - AMP.

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Article last modified on June 21, 2018. Published by, LLC .