CFPB official criticized for earlier writings on racial resignation

A senior coverage govt on the Shopper Monetary Safety Bureau resigned following controversy over writings over a decade in the past during which he used a racial insult for African People and claimed that almost all of hate crimes had been hoaxes.

Eric Blankenstein, CFPB's Director of Coverage on Supervision, Enforcement and Honest Credit score, stated in an e-mail to staff of the company on Wednesday that he had determined to "take one other job" after 18 months of workplace work. Blankenstein wrote that the main points of his subsequent work "are nonetheless being finalized". His final day at CFPB might be Might 31st.

Blankenstein was the goal of criticism when the Washington Submit stated for the primary time final yr that he had used a pseudonym in weblog posts during which he advised that individuals who used racial slurs would Weren’t essentially racist and that almost all hate crimes had been "hoaxes". In his writings, Blankenstein termed "racial idiocy" the proposal, emanating from the College of Virginia, to impose harsh penalties for acts of intolerance.

Within the weblog, he wrote: "Very nicely … let's say they referred to as it n —–", specifying the textual content.

Eric Blankenstein's final day on the Workplace of Shopper Monetary Safety might be Might 31st.


The revelation sparked an uproar throughout the company and led to recriminations with CFPB staff, shopper teams and a few lawmakers, claiming that blogs disqualified Mr. Blankenstein from a administration place on the company. Blankenstein's duties included overseeing the workplace's honest lending workplace.

Former CFPB appearing director, Mick Mulvanay, who employed Blankenstein and a dozen political appointees, finally referred the case to the CFPB's inspector common. The small print of this survey should not but clear. The CFPB didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Blankenstein by no means gave up his views. As a substitute, he as a substitute sought to elucidate that in 2004, he and certainly one of his mates had began a weblog referred to as "Two Guys Chatting" to debate the problems of the day.

Some vital company staff, together with Patrice Ficklin, director of the company's honest lending workplace, initially defended Blankenstein however gave up her help as soon as she learn the complete textual content of the weblog.

"I've had experiences which are elevating considerations that at the moment are fairly alarming in gentle of the content material of his weblog posts – experiences that query Eric's means and intent to take action." fulfill its dedication and that of the appearing director, repeated however unsupported, to proceed mortgage program underneath present jurisprudence, "she wrote in an e-mail to workers members.

Since Blankenstein arrived on the CFPB, public enforcement measures and restitution to customers have collapsed. Blankenstein led a overview of excellent legislation enforcement measures and private inquiries from the workplace.

He had little expertise in shopper credit score earlier than becoming a member of the company. Beforehand, Blankenstein labored for six months as Deputy Normal Counsel on the US Commerce Consultant's Workplace. Beforehand, he was a accomplice at Williams & Connolly for eight years.

Blankenstein stated he appreciated the "laborious work and dedication" of his CFPB colleagues.

"It’s a privilege for me to serve the American individuals right here to advertise the workplace's mission of defending customers and making certain protected, honest and aggressive markets for monetary services and products for customers," Blankenstein wrote. in a four-letter letter to Kathy Kraninger, director of the CFPB.

Kraninger, who has been in his job for simply over 4 months, declined to say whether or not Blankenstein would keep on the CFPB.

Kraninger responded by sending an e-mail to the workers to thank Blankenstein for "his willingness to serve and his honest efforts to help an efficient transition of management to the Bureau."

"He has made a major contribution to the mental rigor of the oversight and implementation processes and insurance policies that can prolong nicely past his mandate, which can have an enduring optimistic affect on our work," he stated. writes Kraninger.

David Bleicken, Appearing Affiliate Director for Supervision, Enforcement and Equitable Funding, will head the division till his successor is appointed.

Kraninger introduced that she would quickly publish a "emptiness announcement" for the put up of affiliate director for supervision, utility and honest lending.

Sen Sherrod Brown, the most important Democrat on the Senate Banking and Banking Committee, stated in a tweet: "Eric Blankenstein ought to have been fired for his hateful, reprehensible and disgusting blogs."

Permitting him to resign is a critical ethical and managerial failure that tells customers that the CFPB will look in another way on discrimination.

– Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) Might 15, 2019

Kate Berry

Kate Berry covers the Shopper Monetary Safety Bureau for American Banker.

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