Several years ago, I expressed some amusement (in a "gallows humor" sense, I admit) about the fact that the CFPB was sending attorneys to classes to obtain basic knowledge about bank law after they were hired. Ideological purity, I assume, was the primary job qualification. Therefore, I take it as a perversely encouraging sign that the Adjustment Bureau's former General Counsel and Acting Deputy Director (a different position than "In Real Life Deputy Director") last week announced that she was quitting the agency and jumping feet first into the dung heap of the financial services business.
Meredith Fuchs, who recently stepped down as acting deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is joining Capital One as the bank’s senior vice president and chief counsel on regulatory issues, according to a report from TheHill.com.
The revolving door between the regulator and the regulated is so common in the fever-ridden Potomac Tidal Basin that it hardly raises an eyebrow in a cesspool that might soon be ruled by a man possessed of aeronautically engineered hair and the debonair demeanor Al Bundy. Still, there is something just a bit askew when the resume of the person who was the General Counsel and then Acting Deputy Director of an agency with such extensive power and authority over financial services lists a single job in the financial services industry after she leaves that agency. Perhaps you can find such a job there.
I'm sure that Capital One is looking for "insight" into the attitudes and workings of the CFPB and, when ethical waiting periods have expired, access and even credibility, when necessary, to perhaps lessen the impact of the next blow from the CFPB's cudgel. I'm sure that Ms. Fuchs will provide it. Her resume marks her as an extremely bright and talented lawyer. Let's hope that when the door swings back to the regulatory side and she re-enters government service, she has a lot more hands-on experience with the financial services businesses that she's regulating than she had the first time around the block. Maybe she'll start a trend at the CFPB: know something about the business before you start regulating it. The regulated might want to see if things improve with an approach other than on-the-job training.