JIM HENRY

Answered: Transparency for all

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News

It took a while, but I finally got an answer on whether the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to be transparent with auto lenders.

The answer is yes.

I tried to ask the question this month at the Consumer Bankers Association "CBA Live" conference in Orlando. But bureau executive Raj Date (DAH'-tay) disappeared during an impromptu interview right after his presentation at the conference.

Last week, after I wrote about the disappearing act, a bureau spokeswoman said that Date, associate director for research, markets and regulation, had an elbow injury that flared up during his CBA presentation.

Immediately after the speech, I asked him a question. A stagehand interrupted and asked him to come backstage to take off his microphone, which is when Date discovered his sore elbow had a "knot on it the size of a golf ball,'' according to the spokeswoman.

So he dropped what he was doing to get medical attention.

Besides skipping my question, he also missed meetings that afternoon with some high-ranking CBA members.

Eventually, in an e-mail response to my question, Date said the bureau will take an "open, transparent approach" to auto lenders.

That's a good thing, and it's a straight answer. It's too bad we got off on the wrong foot -- uh, elbow.

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