The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now the star of a bizarre legal and bureaucratic drama, a Rome-versus-Avignon power struggle unfolding a block from the White House. The resignation of the bureau’s director, Richard Cordray, has created a soap-opera succession battle tailor-made for the frenzied Washington news cycle, with two dueling officials claiming his job and furious partisans arguing both sides.

But one thing you don’t hear financial leaders say anymore is that the CFPB should be abolished, even though they once warned that its creation would cripple financial services in America. The Wall Street reform law of 2010 transferred authorities from seven federal agencies over 18 consumer protection laws to the CFPB, and it’s hard to imagine how they could be transferred back. The critics complain about the way the bureau is structured and its adversarial approach to business, but they no longer clamor for its demise.

“Now that it’s here, it’s here to stay,” says Alan Kaplinsky, an attorney who represents numerous companies that have battled the bureau. “It’s got too much power, and it doesn’t always let the facts get in its way. But nobody’s really suggesting that it should be dismantled anymore.”

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