Channeling his inner Shakespeare, Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is asking the media to refer to the organization by a new name: Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. That is what he is now calling it, and he has petitioned style gurus in the media to honor the name change, including embracing the new second reference BCFP instead of CFPB.
The distraught heroine Juliet asked, “What’s in a name?” But she knew full well that a name can be everything. So it is with Mulvaney. This rebranding to a passive and more cumbersome title isn’t exactly like a Capulet becoming a Montague. But it is clearly designed to devalue the watchdog agency by obscuring its past, confusing its identity and, in essence, starting over under a new set of guidelines.
Since his reign began last fall, Mulvaney has frozen all new investigations and slowed existing inquiries. He sharply restricted the bureau’s access to bank data and is putting every one of its functions up for review. He has also scaled back efforts to go after payday lenders, unraveling a signature effort by the previous bureau chief Richard Cordray.
Mulvaney says Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is the official statutory name. No word yet on whether the style chiefs in the media, especially at the widely followed A.P., will honor Mulvaney’s request.