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Kraninger Noncommittal on Controversial CFPB Employee

Phil Hall
Dec 14, 2018
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced that it has taken measures to make it easier for consumers with urgent financial needs to obtain access to mortgage credit more quickly in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic

Kathy Kraninger, the newly sworn-in Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is not offering any public hints on the fate of an agency employee who has generated criticism over blog postings that many considered to be racially insensitive.
The Washington Post reports that Kraninger was confronted with the question of Eric Blankenstein, the CFPB’s Policy Director of Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending, who became the center of controversy after news emerged that he authored anonymous blog posts in 2004 that questioned the veracity of some hate crime reporting. Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the CFPB, refused to fire Kraninger despite calls from labor and progressive groups for his ouster.
The Blankenstein matter was brought before Kraninger on her first day at the CFPB, but declined to address the issue.
“I have no intention of making personnel decisions on my first day,” said Kraninger, adding that CFPB personnel matters are “inherently confidential” and the agency has 1,500 employees. “I am not going to go back and look at everything they have ever written in their lives.”
Kraninger communicated with the CFPB staff by email to alert them of her willingness to engage in conversation. “You may not always agree with my decisions, but know that I will seek input,” she wrote. “I will be fully accountable for the decisions I make … and they will be mine,” she said.

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