Iain, we’re heading for the “un” trifecta here. Not only was the creation of the CFPB unwise, and the appointment of Cordray to head it unconstitutional, but it looks like Cordray actually performing his duties would be unlawful, thanks to some unusual language in Dodd-Frank, of all places. Mark Calabria explains at Cato:
More importantly the “recess” appointment of Cordray doesn’t solve the President’s problem. The Dodd-Frank Act is very clear, even a law professor can probably under this section, that authorities under the Act remain with the Treasury Secretary until the Director is “confirmed by the Senate”. A recess appointment is not a Senate confirmation. Now don’t ask me why Dodd and Frank included such unusual language, they could have just given the Bureau the new authorities, but they didn’t. So even with this appointment, the CFPB won’t be able to go after all those non-banks, like the pay-day lenders and check-cashiers that caused the financial crisis (oh wait, those industries didn’t have anything to do with the crisis).
Is it safe to say this whole affair makes Mr. Obama look very unpresidential?