Thursday, September 29, 2022
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Politics In Zimbabwe Has A New Soundtrack

And Zimbabwean psychedelic rock band Wells Fargo had a hit with a song called, "Watch Out." We had to change it to, 'Watch out, big storm is coming.'" The group mostly plays covers — they are much less famous than Wells Fargo was — and nearly all of the musicians are about 40 years younger than Chitambo. They have only ever known a Zimbabwe ruled by Mugabe. The group sits around a table at a hotel bar in the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, before a gig and the younger musicians have questions for Chitambo about making music in politically charged times. He asks Chitambo if he should sing about the changes in their country and make songs that "touch the people's hearts." This election will be the first Mabhena has ever voted in. Friends Band's 27-year-old singer Zinzile Majola says it felt like a window opened when Mugabe left. And just as Wells Fargo sang about freedom coming at the birth of Zimbabwe independence, Mabhena says he wants to write a song about the better Zimbabwe he hopes is coming after this month's election. "The song I will write about is a song believing change is near and there is hope."

Walling bank regulators off from politics

Wells Fargo was just fined a total of $1 billion by the federal government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. It’s the biggest fine ever imposed by the CFPB, an agency created in 2010 under the Dodd-Frank Act as a response to the financial crisis. This is an agency with a target on its back. Speaking to the American Bankers Association conference, Mulvaney said that when he served in Congress, the only lobbyists he met with were ones who had made contributions to his campaigns. Mulvaney suggested the bankers make donations to lawmakers and urge them to support legislation to weaken the powers of the CFPB. No doubt Mulvaney could pass a lie detector test with those statements describing how Washington works. But the CFPB is an independent agency that is supposed to be walled off from politics. Now Mulvaney is under scrutiny for actions he’s taken at the CFPB, such as loosening regulation of the payday lending industry. Politics is one thing, but Americans need to have confidence that the people who make and enforce regulations are not selling their decisions to the highest bidder. And if he can’t do that, President Trump should find another acting director for the agency.