A recently discovered email from the former CEO of a payday lender is raising questions about the closeness of her relationship with the official who is supposed to regulate companies like the one she used to lead.
Janet Matricciani, who served as CEO of a payday lender named World Acceptance, sent an email to President Donald Trump's budget director Mick Mulvaney about being appointed as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to the Associated Press. Mulvaney is currently serving as the interim head of that organization until a lasting replacement can be found.
"I would love to apply for the position of director of the CFPB. Who better than me understand the need to treat consumers respectfully and honestly, and the equal need to offer credit to lower-income consumers in order to help them manage their daily lives?” Matricciani argued to Mulvaney.
She added, "I have indepth (sic) experience of what a CFPB investigation is like, and so I am in an unparalleled position to understand the effect of various CFPB actions on a company, its workforce, its customers and the industry."
Marticciani's email was sent to Mulvaney only two days after the CFPB had closed an investigation into World Acceptance's lending practices that had been initiated under Mulvaney's progressive predecessor, Richard Cordray. This was part of Mulvaney's larger policy of dropping investigations and lawsuits conducted by the bureau and does not automatically indicate that there was any connection between Marticciani's letter and the CFPB's favorable decision.
Nevertheless, Matricciani's email will raise serious questions about the relationship between Mulvaney and the businesses he is supposed to regulate. In January Mulvaney declared that he believed his job was to prevent the CFPB from "interfering with capitalism." That same month, he told the Federal Reserve that he didn't want any new money to fund the agency for the upcoming fiscal quarter.