Look Who's Making Dodgy Loans Now

A blog about business and economics.
July 18 2013 3:48 PM

Former CFPBer Now Touting Unorthodox Mortgage Products

Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner on Dec. 1, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

As deputy director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Raj Date helped write the rules drawing stricter lines around what kind of mortgages the government would encourage. Now he's back in the private sector and has a new company that aims to ... sell unorthodox mortgage products to borrower who don't meet the CFPB's qualified mortgages standards.

Date hastens to explain—quite accurately—that there's no hypocrisy here. The CFPB rules are about what kind of mortgages the government will guarantee. There's no reason private sector actors can't or shouldn't reach beyond that if they want to. But there is a certain irony. And it also underscores the real challenges of consumer financial protection. It's easy, intellectual speaking, to identify the fact that people probably shouldn't eat so many cheeseburgers. But an effective anti-cheeseburger policy is going to run into the problem that cheeseburgers are delicious, people want to eat cheeseburgers, and we put value on letting people do what they want. In much the same way, people really want credit. It's useful. It's fun. And it's potentially lucrative to give it to them. Where there's a will there's a way, but where there's a way there's often trouble down the road.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.