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The Outflankening IX: Protect Finance Against Consumers Edition

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Donald Trump once again owns the libs and shows how deeply in touch he is with the working man by…making it easier for payday lenders to charge extortionate rates to people who can’t afford them:

Last summer, on his final day of work at the nation’s consumer finance watchdog agency, a career economist sent colleagues a blunt memo.

He claimed that President Trump’s appointees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had manipulated the agency’s research process to justify altering a 2017 rule that would have sharply curtailed high-interest payday loans.

The departing staff member, Jonathan Lanning, detailed several maneuvers by his agency’s political overseers that he considered legally risky and scientifically indefensible, including pressuring staff economists to water down their findings on payday loans and use statistical gimmicks to downplay the harm consumers would suffer if the payday restrictions were repealed. A copy of the memo was obtained by The New York Times from a current bureau employee.

Political appointees at the bureau, led by its director, Kathleen Kraninger, have pressed forward with the Trump administration’s deregulatory drive despite the logistical hurdles posed by the coronavirus pandemic. This week, the agency is expected to release the revised payday rule, which will no longer require lenders to assess whether customers can afford their fees before offering a loan.

As I will argue in my forthcoming piece for Current Affairs, clearly the problem is all the Wall Street hacks Elizabeth Warren hired in 2017.

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