IT'S THE END OF JULY. And while summer is not officially over, it's getting dangerously close. That's the general feeling you get this time of year, especially in Washington, where the dates for taking time-off-for-fun (especially in summer) are dictated by the U.S. Congress.
The fifth-floor corner office at 1919 M Street doesn't always march to the same seasonal definitions as the rest of the world. Dave Stevens, the chief executive of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), keeps his own unique calendar. But he, like everyone else, feels the gravitational pull of Capitol Hill's calendar.
Typically the entire month of August is summer recess for Congress. By extension, it's kind of the official last hurrah for summer in the District of Columbia. People who live here can feel it. And when Congress is out, everyone in D.C. (pretty much) is on "va-cay," as they say. Except for cab drivers. They have to work extra-hard to hustle a fraction of the income they earn when the members are in session.
But this is such a weird year for Congress that even the GOP leadership in the House--as late as Aug. 1--was talking about delaying recess to address the border-crisis funding situation.
But on the day I caught up with Dave (July 28), he was full of his usual energy and focus. It didn't matter that the members were on the brink of making their mass exodus. He was at his desk and in session.
Even though Stevens' summer wasn't over--he still had August in front of him--I asked what he would miss most about summer when it was officially over. His answer: Putting the boat up at his lake house. And not being able to swim in "that water." His boat is a Sea Ray 260. We asked if it was fast--and apparently it is.
But what I really came to talk about was a significant birthday. Not his, of course (we have no idea when that is). But that of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
Dodd-Frank turned 4 on July 21. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turned 3 on the same date--so no more terrible 2s for the bureau (OK, be nice.)
Birthdays are good times to reflect (unless you're turning 50 or 60--then forgetting clearly is in order.) But Dodd-Frank's fourth was a good occasion to think back on how much the industry has changed since 2010.
I asked Stevens to take himself back to that time and remember what was going on during the days right before passage of the massive law (more than 2,300 pages) that triggered more than...