Paul Jacob

One expert testified at the hearing that these new government databases with all our financial information are vulnerable to hackers intent on identity theft. In answer to a direct question, CFPB Director Richard Cordray admitted that the data was not 100 percent secure. “We’re concerned about making sure that does not happen as much as possible,” explained Cordray, the “that” apparently referring to a security breach. “I don’t need that headache.”

Yes, if all your financial data were to be taken and used to steal your identity and wreck your life, it sure would be a headache for the CFPB Director.

Where did this Consumer Financial Protection Bureau come from?

It was created as part of Dodd-Frank, the legislation supposedly designed to prevent a future financial meltdown. Written back in 2009 by a platoon of lobbyists and the staffs of Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), a lot of experience was brought to bear. After all, it was these paragons of statesmanship (no mere politicians, they) who had helped legislate the last financial crisis.

Under Dodd-Frank, Congress gave itself little power over CFPB. The U.S. Senate confirms the directors of the agency, but has no other oversight or control. The CFPB is part of the Federal Reserve, another key financial institution so removed from public accountability that it has never been audited.

Congress loves power, but regularly legislates away responsibility. For itself, for others.

Welcome to the new America, 21st Century.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.