Guest Post: Welcome to the United States of Orwell, Part 4: "Consumer Protection" Just Another Federal Reserve Power Grab
Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds
Welcome to the United States of Orwell, Part 4: "Consumer Protection" Just Another Federal Reserve Power Grab
How to mask yet another Federal Reserve power grab? Call it "consumer protection."
This is truly Orwellian: the latest and greatest Executive Branch/Federal Reserve power grab is labeled "consumer protection." I am indebted to correspondent Jim S. who seems to be one of the few Americans to have actually sorted through this monstronsity and gleaned its true nature: an unprecedented extension of Executive (i.e. Imperial Presidency) and Federal Reserve power.
Let's start by recalling that the Federal Reserve is a consortium of private banks. Calling a private consortium of banks the "Federal Reserve" is the original Orwellian misdirection, for there is nothing "Federal" about the Federal Reserve. It is not a government agency.
Now guess who will fund and control this vast new bureaucracy of "consumer protection"? Yes, the private consortium known as the Federal Reserve. "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will be an independent unit located inside and funded by the United States Federal Reserve. It will write and enforce bank rules, conduct bank examinations, monitor and report on markets, as well as collect and track consumer complaints."
Since managing the money supply and interest rates is the ultimate "consumer protection," we can ask how well the Fed managed those tasks in the past 15 years: alas, their management has been catastrophic for the nation and the middle class, which has been gutted by their policies of serial bubble blowing, leveraged speculation and bank predation.
The very last private consortium any sane person would select to run a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would be the privately owned parasites of the Federal Reserve. Doesn't the vast, sprawling bureaucracy of the Federal government already have agencies experienced in regulating consumer protection? Why do we "need" to consolidate all financial consumer data and regulation under the control of a non-government consortium that has amply proven itself to be the enabler and enforcer of institutionalized bank predation, embezzlement and fraud?
This is beyond bizarre. If we had to assign the task of protecting consumers to a privately owned consortium, then we'd be better off giving the task to IBM. But the bank-owned toadies in Congress handed all this power to the Federal Reserve. One wonders how it is legal that a private consortium now has power over all financial data in the U.S.
Here is Jim's summary:
You are more than familiar with the Shadow Banking System running parallel, black-box-like to the Federal Reserve System...no regulation, no accounting, notional hypothecation upon notional re-hypothecations accounting for leverages to the Moon, and in the end, essentially infinite debt.
The CFPB represents to me a complete, contained Shadow US Government System established by the Dems and the Fed right under our very noses. One of the profound things I have not completely conveyed is what I see as the invisibility cloak and impenetrable shield the CFPB has for total immunity from evaluation, oversight, attack, etc.
The CFPB is funded by the FED with any amount of money it asks for and is completely unaccountable as to how it uses it...unlimited funding. The CFPB is answerable to no entity regarding its deliberations, decisions with the full force of law, disclosure of agendas.
It will link through its fully unaccountable Director through established Executive Branch inter-agency councils and sub-councils to every agency and sub-agency it desires or any agency wishing to associate/link with the CFPB (e.g.IRS requests Director to have instant nanosecond access for behaviorial data collection on consumers via their formerly private credit card, bank, credit union, stock market and forex market and commodity market accounts....and, Director Cordray says in nanoseconds,....OK!)
Under the opaque umbrella of the CFPB, all Executive Agencies, formerly accountable to the Congress in some way, will become opaque to the Congress insofar as they are associated with the CFPB. Congress can request info from the CFPB, none has to be given at all.
The CFPB is an autonomous creature of the Federal Reserve, completely cloaking itself with total immunity from any Congressional controlling authority.
The establishment of a Shadow Government Executive Branch "coup" is a direct follow-up to Paulson's "gun to the head" of Congress in 2008 when the world was only hours from a Federal Reserve derivative originated financial crash. Congress capitulated with the initial $700B. and in the meanwhile the Fed has printed debt loans to the tune of $16T to fund the interest liabilities of short term derivative rollover and refinancing demands.
Jim also noted the dearth of mainstream media coverage of the CFPB, and suggested this story: Obama Creates Unconstitutional Monster.
“The CFPB director will have vast rulemaking, supervisory, investigative and enforcement powers and the authority to regulate any person or business that offers or sells a ‘financial product or service,” the Senate Republicans told Obama. “This authority will directly affect every American household by limiting their choices when purchasing financial products, restricting the availability of credit to consumers, and increasing the cost of goods or services purchased using credit.”
“Despite the vast power vested in the hands of the director, there are no effective checks on the director’s authority,” said Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on Banking Committee.
“When you set up something that is outside the control of the elected branches, when you set up something that doesn’t require the appropriations by Congress to make sure they can continue their work only on the basis of their complying with the constitutional requirements, then you have essentially set up the potential for a rogue agency which does not have any controls and therefore you’re affecting the liberty of the people.”
The Dodd-Frank bill, like Obamacare, is tyranny by complexity. Who can plow through thousands of pages of these bills except those gaming the legislative process to their own advantage?
Consider the Glass-Steagall Act, at 37 pages in length, and the 2,319-page monstrosity of the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act:" (Source)
Back in December, Nick Schulz helped put the size of the 2,074-page healthcare bill into some historical context by comparing its length to some previous bills that rank among the most consequential in U.S. history, like the 82-page Social Security Act of 1935 and the 74-page Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Now that Congress has passed the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” it might be a good time to compare the 2,319-page financial reform bill (245 pages longer than the healthcare bill) to the previous bills listed below (and see graph) that are considered among the most consequential legislative acts for banking and finance.
1. Federal Reserve Act (1913) – 31 pages.
2. Glass-Steagall Act (1933) – 37 pages.
Like everything else, this issue has been put through the partisan meat grinder. Everybody knows the banking sector owns Congress, but how it is even legal to grant extraordinary powers over the entire financial system to a private consortium without congressional oversight? It simply doesn't pass the most basic constitutional "sniff test."
The entire Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act should be nullified as an unconstitional power grab. The asleep-at-the-wheel lackeys on the Supreme Court better wake up soon or democracy and "the will of the people" will be mere memories.
Thanks to Dodd-Frank, it boils down to this: whatever the Federal Reserve does with the data it collects from Federal government agencies is private and none of your business. Whatever financial actions you take that create a digital record is the now the Fed's business.
In case you have any doubts about where our "leadership" is taking us, please review these Assorted quotes by Fascists or about Fascism.