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Cajun Thoughts Blog


Chopra, CEOs and October

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

In today’s Cajun Thoughts:

Why October is a great month

*Cost of College is a “weak” argument for the student debt crisis

*Congress missed a golden opportunity for real debate on banking

CFPB Director Rohit Chopra was the guest speaker of the September Exchequer Club where he only took written questions from the audience unlike every single speaker before him who took them directly from the audience. Strange. You could have knocked me over with a feather when he stated it is a “weak” argument to say the cost of college is a reason there is a student loan debt repayment problem even though tuition has risen 5x the rate of inflation. He then totally did not answer the follow question whether the 4 percent origination fee on Parent Plus loans fit in his category of “junk fees”. To top that off, he gave zero opinion on whether President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan was a good idea. He totally avoided every single topic.

I genuinely wanted to hear his thoughts on all three of these topics since he was once head of student lending at the CFPB, and student lending is one the largest consumer debts facing our country. And he has taken time to comment on concert fees and hotel fees. Talk about total disappointment. Yes, that was my submitted question.

And still no Congressional hearings to address the cost of college.

Bank CEO Hearings: there is some value to having Large Bank CEO’s testify before Congress on a regular basis but three years in a row screamed “political agenda”. I did like hearing their opinion on important matters like inflation, customer confidence, ESG and capital.

If the committees really want to hear about the state of banking, and banking is not just banks, they should have called upon FinTechs and private equity who are now funding over 50 percent of all unsecured lending without any federal regulation—yet. And how about the runaway no underwriting world of BNPL? I have heard some people have as many as 20 of these loans.

And while at it, bring in the top community banks and credit unions to hear their thoughts as well. While I have mixed emotions about all the Overdraft reforms by big banks that have been applauded by democrats, I have seen zero changes by community banks or credit unions.

Anyhow, it was a wasted opportunity by Chairman Brown and Waters not to get a complete picture of the banking industry. If I were a big bank CEO, I would not testify again until the above take their turn.

I will be speaking at the October Exchequer Club on October 19, 2022 and will cover several forward thinking topics such as crypto, regulation, banking (including my mega M&A prediction) and the confessions of running a trade association. Yes, I will be taking questions from the audience.

October is a great and stressful month as you have @braves trying to make another World Series run, the @cowboys trying to find themselves, College Football in full swing, bank earnings reports coming out, and people actually wanting to get married in front of others (two meanings there). There is a ton of PIP action happening in my Man Cave these days. Also, Orange Theory Fitness has a Hell Week thrown in close to Halloween to test the heart rate. And it also means another one of my favorite times of the year—Thanksgiving—is just around the corner. For those keeping score, Thanksgiving leads to another favorite time the year, Christmas.

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