Policy-Based Evidence-Making at the CFPB

I have a new post over at the Law and Liberty Blog, “Policy-Based Evidence-Making at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” where I examine the CFPB’s use of economic studies in its new ability to pay and “qualified mortgages” rules.  One cornerstone of the CFPB’s claim that it should be exempt from standard oversight controls by the President and Congress is that it is an evidence-based policy-making body and thus is essentially above politics.  As I show, however, the mortgage rule illustrates the opposite–the inherent judgment calls and politics inherent in the regulatory process.  Thus, while I express no opinion on the wisdom of the rules in the post, I explore whether the Bureau’s performance in practice supports its purported ambitions.  I conclude that based on this massive rulemaking, CFPB has established precisely why it should be treated like any other bureaucratic agency, subject to the standard Presidential and Congressional checks.

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