Four-plus years after Wall Street's meltdown "brought the world economy to its knees," at least we have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to prevent us from ever toppling over that cliff again. Or do we? Not if Senate Republicans, who are "going all out in an attempt to kill that bureau," get their way, writes Paul Krugman in a New York Times op-ed headlined "Friends of Fraud." They're "threatening to filibuster" acting head Richard Cordray's official appointment as part of the GOP effort to kill the Bureau's independence.
Republicans would like to see pro-bank agencies able to veto the CFPB's actions as they take away its "guaranteed funding, opening it to interest-group pressure," Krugman notes. "These changes would make the agency more or less worthless—but that, of course, is the point." The GOP believes that it's "do-gooder liberals" like Barney Frank who caused the financial collapse "by forcing helpless bankers to lend to" less-qualified buyers. Now, "Senate Republicans are using every means at their disposal, violating all the usual norms of politics in the process," to let 2008 happen "all over again." Click for Krugman's full column.