Much has been made on Capitol Hill of the “unchecked” powers of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the lack of oversight of its work. Actually, the agency’s powers are quite circumscribed by the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that created it.

In most cases, the authority the new 400-person bureau is assuming has been lodged in other agencies such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Department Treasury. So much of the CFPB’s true regulatory authority is not really new – it’s just moved to a new location.

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