Attorney Lucy Morris heard CFPB Director Richard Cordray speak at a conference recently. He was asked what his post-bureau plans were and, as usual, he demurred, she said. But then the question turned to what he had left on his to-do list before he departed his post.

Ms. Morris says that Cordray paused.

"You know," she recalls him saying, "I don't think there is anything else."

On Nov. 15 Cordray announced in an email to CFPB staff that he would leave office before the end of November. That will bring to a close a term marked by cheers and jeers leading an agency that was as unpopular in some circles as Obamacare is in others (and vice-versa).

Alan Kaplinsky is co-practice leader of the Consumer Financial Services Group, and a partner, at Ballard Spahr LLP, and he believes Cordray pushed enforcement power too far.

"There are some things he did well," says Kaplinsky, "but a lot I would disagree with him on." Mr. Kaplinsky believes that many of the practices that the bureau attacked were things that Cordray personally objected to, and authorized enforcement on, even if they did not clearly violate any law.

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