Do as We Say, Not as We Do

Here’s an interesting story from Bloomberg View about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB likes to use the “disparate impact” approach in its regulation of banks, but the American Banker has obtained data showing that the Bureau’s own employment practices might not fare very well under this approach (which puts a premium on racial/ethnic/gender bean counting). 

“Specifically, CFPB managers show a pattern of ranking white employees distinctly better than minorities in performance reviews used to grant raises and issue bonuses. Overall, whites were twice as likely in 2013 to receive the agency’s top grade than were African-American or Hispanic employees, the data shows.”

The point is not that the CFPB is discriminating; the point is that the numbers approach is one that ought to be used very cautiously. But try telling that to the Obama administration.

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