Artwork from top ten stories week ending Dec. 8, 2017.
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney
Mulvaney’s first days at CFPB: Payday, personnel and a prank
Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney backed a congressional effort to overturn the agency's short-term lending rule, said he planned to install more political appointees and acknowledged a possible prank played on him.

(Full story here.)
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney
Mulvaney's plan to embed political staffers in CFPB sparks backlash
Critics argue that the consumer bureau's independence is being undermined, and they worry that a precedent is being established that could hamper the autonomy of other U.S. financial regulators.

(Full story here.)
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
GAO effectively scraps CFPB auto lending guidance
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s 2013 guidance putting indirect auto lenders on the hook for unintentional discrimination by their partner dealers should have been subject to congressional review, the Government Accountability Office said Tuesday.

(Full story here.)
Bruce Van Saun, Chairman and CEO  of Citizens Financial Group.
Tax cuts, hacking and fintech partnerships: A bank CEO's take
During a sit-down interview, Bruce Van Saun, the CEO at Citizens Financial, explained how Washington policy changes could boost lending, why cyber threats keep him up nights and how fintechs and AI are changing the industry for the better.

(Full story here.)
Amazon Echo Spot devices sit on display during the company's product reveal launch event in downtown Seattle in September.
Big banks hope early bet on Alexa will pay off
With millions of Alexa and Google Home devices now in use, first-mover banks are rapidly developing services to let customers control their finances using only their voice — even if there are still many kinks to work out.

(Full story here.)
Fifth Third's McWilliams tapped as next FDIC chair
Jelena McWilliams, the chief legal officer for Fifth Third Bancorp, will be nominated as the next chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the White House said late Thursday.

(Full story here.)
M&T finally seems ready for another bank acquisition
Five years have passed since M&T agreed to buy Hudson City, only to be tripped up by anti-money-laundering issues. With a clean bill of health from regulators and Hudson integrated, management is again talking about its interest in deals.

(Full story here.)
When technology becomes a bank merger's albatross
After two century-old community institutions merged in 2010, they never suspected it would take seven years before their operating systems got along.

(Full story here.)
How bitcoin prices rose in 2017.
Is it time for bankers to rethink bitcoin?
Dizzying trading in bitcoin fed the bubble argument, but now that Nasdaq is the third Wall Street player to say it is designing a financial instrument around it, banks may be forced to reassess cryptocurrencies.

(Full story here.)
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee
Breaking down Hensarling's GSE reform overture
House Financial Services Committee Jeb Hensarling shifted tactics on housing finance reform Wednesday, acknowledging that a bill he’s pushed for years to virtually eliminate the government’s role in the mortgage market lacks the support to become law.

(Full story here.)