Recently Dennis McCuistion was featured in a Dallas Morning News article. Follow this link to view the article titled, “Fix, don’t defang, consumer bureau

Dallas Congressman Jeb Hensarling makes an excellent case for getting rid of Dodd-Frank or at least dismantling a large chunk of it, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The 2,319-page Dodd-Frank Act was passed in July 2010. In the last seven years, only 80 percent of it has been implemented because it is so complex and costly.

There were some good things in Dodd-Frank, including a provision requiring publicly traded corporations to ask their shareholders to vote on the level of executive pay for their top executives. The legislation attempted to get rid of too-big-to-fail banks, but there is consensus that it did not do that.

The most contentious part of the legislation created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The consumer agency has rightfully sued many financial institutions and recovered several billions of dollars, some of which went to individuals, but much of which went to the government or to attorneys. It has wrongfully sued many others, leading opponents to say that the agency is in fact the prosecutor, the judge and the jury. Further, the way the agency was set up lends itself to that conclusion.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has only one person in charge: Richard Cordray. This is different from other agencies, which typically have boards. The agency is funded by a percentage of the revenues generated by the Federal Reserve System, Cordray is not accountable to anyone, and the budget is not overseen by the executive branch or Congress.

All these are unique in the federal government. The structure has since been found unconstitutional, and the case will be back in court again soon. The Dodd-Frank Act was to be the solution to the financial crisis and the prevention of future ones, yet the legislation totally overlooked the primary cause of the financial crisis: bad loans made at the urging of the federal government. Half of the mortgages in America were subprime when the crisis occurred.

Yes, big banks participated in this by lying about the mortgages they were putting in their securitization packages, and, yes, they were fined billions of dollars instead of putting the bankers in jail. The Department of Justice failed to follow up on referrals for indictment recommended by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and evidence for these referrals was locked up for five years.

Last year, I had the pleasure of leading a series of meetings and television programs on the financial crisis and whether Dodd-Frank would actually solve the problems. The conclusion of whistleblowers, economists, bankers and other experts was that the government did not hold itself accountable, and, no, Dodd-Frank would not solve the problems.

The solution to the problems in the banking industry is to require banks to hold more capital, and that is happening. More regulations have never prevented the kind of problems that we had in 2008, and they will not do so in the future. What they have done is help push 2,000 community banks to sell or close since 2008, thus preventing a more robust recovery.

So, what should be done? Hensarling will soon introduce a new version of the Financial Choice Act. And last month, my congressman, John Ratcliffe of Heath, introduced H.R. 1031, a one-page bill that would totally eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. My view is that the agency needs to be restructured with a five-person board.

President Donald Trump should fire Cordray, and the funding should be subject to congressional approval and moved from under the Federal Reserve. Honest bankers should not be subject to an agency that is clearly out of control.

Dennis McCuistion is a recovering bank CEO who teaches corporate governance and since 1990 has hosted the McCuistion television program on KERA. He wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News.


There are more than 120,000 men, women and children in the United States (nearly 12,000 in Texas alone) who need an organ transplant to live. A single donor can save as many as 8 lives through organ donation and help as many as 75 people through cornea and tissue donation. Every 10 minutes someone new is added to the national transplant waiting list. Still, about 8,000 people die every year waiting for an organ, an average of 22 people each day.

Left to Right: Dr. Klintmalm, Patti Niles, Ronnie Matthews, Dennis and Niki

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to talk about this critical need are:

  • Göran B.G. Klintmalm M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S.: Chief & Chairman, the Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute, Past President, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas
  • Patti Niles: President/CEO Southwest Transplant Alliance, one of 58 federally designated nonprofit organ procurement organizations
  • Ronnie Matthews: Father of the late Cam’ron Matthews, a donor

During a school football game, Cam’ron, age 16, collapsed on the field. Not long beforehand Cam’ron had applied for a driver’s permit and had checked the box to indicate he wanted to be a registered donor. Cam’ron was a hero. His compassionate gift helped save 6 lives. His father, Ronnie Matthews says “there is nothing more touching that someone who looks you in the eye and says, ‘I would not be alive today if it weren’t for your son.'”

Click Here to View CBS Coverage

The Southwest Transplant Alliance Team

According to Dr. Klintmalm, “3.2 organs can be recovered from an average donor; however, not all organs in every donor are usable. And we have to evaluate whether an organ is going to be good for a recipient or detrimental.”

In 2015, a record breaking 30,000 organ transplants were performed in the United States, more than in any previous year. Approximately 1% of people who die in Texas, die in a way where they can be an organ donor. The risk for a transplant procedure is relatively small. However, there are many other factors at risk; from blood types not matching to any medical condition the donor may have.

In 2016, Southwest Transplant Alliance surpassed their goal. President/CEO Patti Niles says, “Each year we set a goal to save more lives with organs transplanted. For 2017 we set a stretch goal of 1,300 transplanted organs. While this is a number and a goal, it represents lives saved. All of this starts with the ‘yes’ from registered organ donors and families that have made the incredibly generous decision to donate. We encourage everyone to register their decision by visiting”

You too can save lives. Go to and register as a donor.

Join us as we talk about things that matter… with people who care. And please don’t forget that for the last 27 years it is you, our viewer, who keeps us on the air.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Thanks for joining us,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning

Robert Hall, businessman, consultant and author: This Land Of Strangers: The Relationship Crisis That Imperils Home, Work, Politics and Faith, joined us a while back for a two part program on our relational decline and the societal trends that got us there. In the face of the backlash and continuing protests following the election results, his thoughts are insightful and shed some insight into the trend the elections followed.

In his most recent Huffington post article titled: “Tribal vs. Team Leadership: Trump, Hillary & You”, he mentioned that “more than half of Americans say the 2016 election is a major source of stress (American Psychological Association)”. He goes on to say, “Much of the stress associated with the Presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton can be attributed to how two different types of groups – teams and tribes – have run-amok. In fact, much of employee disengagement in business, church defections from denominations, and institutional distrust emanates from dysfunction within tribal and team-oriented groups and their leaders”.

He describes how teams and tribes work well or don’t, and how “teams become dysfunctional when their focus on accomplishing or winning causes them to abandon their values, ethics and loyalty.” Tribes become dysfunctional when their commitment to rigid, uncompromising beliefs feed never-ending conflict and warfare”.

His compare and contrast of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and their election strategies is worth a read. He critically evaluates them both and ties it back to his studies on relationships; the good and the fractured ones.

According to Robert Hall, “Teams and tribes are our most valuable and highest form of group. But, when we as members become singularly obsessed with winning or our own ‘rightness’, our groups become dysfunctional and everybody loses”.

On the program, he said he’s “never seen anything like the dysfunctional mess we are in. Leaders who feel entitled to lose touch with followers evoke a specific kind of costly broken relationship- the popular term, disengagement”.

“Leaders used to be able to say one thing and do another, because no one would ever know,” Hall says. “Not today. There’s virtually nothing you can do that’s not out there to be found. We want leaders who will authentically tell the truth. Instead, we get people who manipulate us. And we’re less willing to put up with that every day.”

Left to Right: Robert E. Hall, Dennis McCuistion, and the late Jim Underwood, PhD

On that program, host Dennis McCuistion was also joined by: (The late) Jim Underwood, PhD, former Professor of Management at Dallas Baptist University and a prolific author, including, the best seller, What’s Your Corporate I.Q.?

According to Dr. Jim Underwood, a spirit of transiency is everywhere. Two hundred of the Fortune 500 companies have relationship issues in management or in their culture, with many companies experiencing a 70% turnover rate among their CEO’s. Research indicates as organizations become larger, the atmosphere becomes toxic if management does not align its leadership with a relationship culture.

Left to Right: Terry Brock, Gina Carr, Niki Nicastro McCuistion & Dennis McCuistion.

Gina and Terry join in to talk about tribes and social media.

Is there hope? While the jury’s still out -our guest’s state we’re starting to recognize the need for positive emotion and a return to our core values. Yet, we sometimes have to be hit over the head.


Niki Nicastro McCuistion:
Executive Producer/Producer
Business consultant, speaker and coach:

Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Google+ Profile



Ethics, according to Merriam-Webster is an area of study that deals with ideas about what is good and bad behavior; a branch of philosophy dealing with what is morally right or wrong.

Left to Right: Richard Ebeling, PhD and Marianne Jennings, J.D.

Ethics makes for good business. Yet, most companies do not take the necessary steps to create a culture of ethics that governs their decision making. Companies claim to know what they are supposed to do. Most have written codes of ethics, classes and employee training in the subject matter, yet there is a huge gap between what should be and what actually happens.

Most employees say that the codes of ethical conduct set by their companies have little impact on their making ethically correct choices. It is the examples set by leadership and the actual culture of a company that influences their actions. The lack of ethics in quite a few financial institutions was a critical factor in the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent bailouts cost taxpayers billions.

So how do you take ethics from theory to practice?

Experts on ethics and business moral codes:

  • Marianne Jennings, J.D.: Professor Emeritus Arizona State University Ethical and Legal Studies, author of The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse; commended as a top 100 thought leader on ethics and one of the most influential people in ethics by Ethics Magazine, and
  • Richard Ebeling, PhD: Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at the Citadel, former President of the Foundation for Economic Education and V. P. Future of Freedom Foundation

Professor Jennings and Dr. Ebeling join host, Dennis McCuistion, to discuss how the lack of transparency and ethics in banks and corporations greatly contributed to the financial crisis and what must be done to instill an ethical culture.

Left to Right: Richard Bowen

Left to Right: Richard M. Bowen, Cary Maguire, and Niki McCuistion

All agree, if there are regulations, rules and money to be made, chances are people will find loopholes. Something can be legal but not ethical. The model in some financial institutions was quantity not quality. Business has a choice. They can stay ethical or look for loopholes. Unfortunately, too many banks looked for loopholes, rewarded greed, and violated moral codes.

The program also features a short interview on ethics with Cary Maguire (Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU), who funded the National Center for Policy Analysis’ Financial Crisis Initiative . Mr. Maguire was recently honored with the inaugural “Cary M. Maguire Spirit of Ethics” award presented by The Greater Dallas Business Ethics Awards. This is a a new level of recognition to a company that demonstrates and champions above-and-beyond ethical practices.

Our experts discuss the steps that can be taken to implement the culture of ethics and transparency that may well prevent a financial debacle of the magnitude of 2008.

As always we keep talking about things that matter… with people who care. And please don’t forget that for the last 26 years it’s you, our viewer, who keeps us on the air.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Niki McCuistion
Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning

Be sure to watch more McCuistion TV programs on our website

Can a future financial crisis be prevented? [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]It seems we keep repeating the same mistakes. Complex regulations, rewarding the too big to fail banks at the expense of community banks, lowering underwriting standards… if we continue the same policies a future financial crisis is inevitable.[/clickandtweet]

Special thanks to the National Center for Policy Analysis for their contribution to this series. This is the sixth of a six part series on the 2008 financial crisis. (The series will be continued this fall with the fifth episode.)

Left to Right: Richard Ebeling, PhD, Niki McCuistion, Dennis McCuistion, Marianne Jennings, JD, Peter J. Wallison

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, are key experts on the issues involved:

  • Marianne M. Jennings, J.D. – Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University Ethical and Legal Studies, author of The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse. Ms. Jennings has been named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics by Ethisphere magazine.
  • Richard Ebeling, PhD – Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at the Citadel. Dr. Ebeling is a former President of the Foundation for Economic Education and V.P. Future of Freedom Foundation.
  • And Peter J. Wallison – Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute, former member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Author: Hidden in Plain Sight

Dennis with Peter Wallison

  • And via prior taped interviews are: Cary M. Maguire, The Maguire Center for Ethics at Southern Methodist University and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, (R-TX) Chair, House Financial Services Committee.

Our experts believe that we blame the 2008 financial crisis on the private sector and let government off the hook. Yet our regulatory policies are skewed, allowing government to take risks that weaken the economy. A variety of key interest rates have been negative; imbalances, distortions need correction.

Risk assessment should not be made by government. We’ve set the conditions for a crisis.

The outcome agreed upon is we must do something different. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Transparency, accountability, regulatory reform and free market solutions are imperative.[/clickandtweet]

As always we keep talking about things that matter… with people who care. And please don’t forget that for the last 25 years it is you, our viewer, who keeps us on the air.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Thanks for joining us,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning


2314 – 08.14.2016

On June 17 the Dallas Morning News had two excellent op-eds on financial reform. Congressman Jeb Hensarling wrote of his forthcoming Financial Choice Act to change provisions of the onerous, some say unconstitutional Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Reverend Gerald Britt argued against reform. Due to space considerations, many facts had to be left out.

Most Americans aren’t familiar with Dodd-Frank, but are affected by it due to its effect on community banks, business startups and regulatory burden. Oil executive and philanthropist Cary Maguire approached the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) on whose board I sit in December of 2014. His concerns were that the causes of the 2008 financial crisis were not understood, that Dodd-Frank did nothing to solve the problem, and that he was concerned as to whether a future crisis could be prevented. Over the last 18 months, NCPA under my leadership has brought together 11 experts for conferences here in Dallas and in DC. In the next few weeks, KERA Channel 13 will air six episodes of the McCuistion program on this subject.

Here are the facts on the crisis and the response that was Dodd-Frank:

  • The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) was established in May 2009 to determine the causes of the problem. It made its reports in early 2011.
  • Dodd-Frank, a 2319 page law, was passed in July 2010 to solve the problem. Reverend Britt says most Republicans supported this bill. The facts are that only three Republican Senators and three Republican Congressmen voted for it. Does this remind one of the Affordable Care Act? Only in DC could a law be passed to solve a problem six months before the causes of the problem were revealed.
  • The irony of this sequence is that the FCIC got the causes wrong. Fortunately, one of the FCIC commissioners issued a minority report that got the causes right—it wasn’t lack of regulation or derivatives that caused the problem, it was the government’s own housing policies under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush that pushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into buying millions of subprime loans. That commissioner was Peter Wallison, author of Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World’s Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again, and he was here and in DC for NCPA’s conferences.
  • Dodd-Frank didn’t end too big to fail, but it did cause tens of thousands of pages of regulations to be written that have helped cause over 1000 community banks to sell or merge in the last six years. These are the banks that lend to small businesses. According to Gallup, for the first time in 35 years, more businesses close each year than are created. That’s why real economic growth is lacking. The annual regulatory cost to America today is $1.88 trillion according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
  • And, speaking of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, they called me in 2013 to help them locate a community bank with the guts to sue the federal government over the constitutionality of Dodd-Frank. I introduced them to a courageous banker, Jim Purcell of the State National Bank of Big Spring. The suit over the constitutionality of Dodd-Frank and in particular the CFPB is pending in federal court today.
  • Many believe the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to be unconstitutional due to its structure as it has, by design, no Congressional authority over its budget or regulations. One person, not a bipartisan commission, leads it. It’s housed inside the Federal Reserve with automatic budget increases and a cadre of lawyers who have the power to act as prosecutor, jury and executioner. Extortion is the word I most often hear when the CFPB is mentioned. The reader will remember that liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts midwifed CFPB– the same Senator who has hated banks since childhood and who famously declared that entrepreneurs didn’t create their businesses….the government’s role made it possible.
  • Reverend Britt rails against payday lending, and I’m no fan of it either. However, there are people who need small, short term loans. Yes, the costs are high, and yes, some borrowers get stuck just rolling over their loans, but what’s the alternative? Thanks to the regulatory burden, some banks and credit unions have had to stop making these small loans as they are not profitable. Perhaps Reverend Britt and many community organizations would be more effective by either educating those who need this product or making the loans themselves.

The good thing is that Hensarling and Britt did agree on one thing that our experts also recommended– that banks maintain more capital against their asset base. That would not only prevent some banks from failing, it would prevent you and me as taxpayers from having to bail them out again. One last thought: Dodd-Frank, like virtually every law passed in DC, fits the definition of the only law in DC that works—–the Law of Unintended Consequences!


Dennis McCuistion is a “recovering community banker”, a director of the National Center for Policy Analysis, the host of the McCuistion television program seen Sundays on Channel 13, and a Clinical Professor of Corporate Governance at UT Dallas. Reach him at

The New York Times recently posted an article stating that when more women on are boards, executive pay is higher. The article presented interesting facts regarding this topic. It begins by saying:

Appointing more women to corporate boards has long been viewed as a good thing for a company’s performance and for society as a whole.

But gender diversity among directors carries another benefit, 2015 proxy filings show: a bigger paycheck for the company’s chief executive.

To view the entire article, follow this link: Where More Women Are on Boards, Executive Pay Is Higher

For more on boards from past McCuistion TV episodes, visit these links:

[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”#middleeast #refugees” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Millions of Middle East refugees are fleeing or have fled Middle Eastern countries because of wars, ISIS and terrorism and economic crisis.[/clickandtweet] The countries they’ve turned to are torn between compassion and fear that some of the refuges may in fact be undercover terrorists. And so the borders are closing.

Left to Right: Hind Jarrah, PhD, Dennis McCuistion, Donna Duvin, Niki McCuistion, and A.J. Irwin

The outcome: Middle East refugees are having a difficult time whether they are in refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan or elsewhere. Their sheer numbers have caused some European leaders to limit the number of Middle East refugees who enter their countries. In some cases doors have completely shut. While the refugee problem is not as acute in America, the refugee situation nevertheless raises concerns about national security, terrorism, health issues, disease, finances and assimilation. Concerns over fraud and welfare costs and terrorism are also very real.

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to discuss Middle East refugees are:

Left to Right: Ambassador Robert Jordan and Gerald J. Reihsen, Guest

This is a particularly difficult issue as most Americans are by nature compassionate towards their fellow man and woman regardless of their country of origin or other unique characteristics. On this program we attempt to weigh humanitarian concerns against those of terrorism.

Join us as we talk about things that matter… with people who care. And please don’t forget that for the last 25 years it is you, our viewer, who keeps us on the air.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Thanks for joining us,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning

Special Event Announcement:

Dr. John Duke Anthony to Address the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs on:

[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”#MiddleEast” related=”” layout=”” position=””]”America, Arabia, and the Gulf: At a Crossroads?”[/clickandtweet]

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

World Trade Center Baltimore
401 E. Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

Reception: 5:15 p.m.
Address: 6:00 p.m.

Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs Members: Free of Charge
Guest of a Member: $10.00
Non-Member: $25.00

Reservations and Tickets:

Dr. John Duke Anthony is the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. On June 22, 2000, on his first official state visit to the United States, H.M. King Muhammad VI of Morocco knighted Dr. Anthony, bestowing upon him Morocco’s highest award for excellence. Dr. Anthony currently serves on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy and its Subcommittee on Sanctions (with special reference to Iran). He is the only American to have been invited to each of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Ministerial and Heads of State Summits since the GCC’s inception in 1981.

Background Reading:
Dr. John Duke Anthony – “The Establishment of a Gulf Cooperation Council Office in Washington, D.C.” (May 2, 2016)
Dr. John Duke Anthony – “Arabia to Asia: The Myths of an American ‘Pivot’ and Whether or Not There’s a U.S. Strategy Toward the GCC Region” (April 22, 2016)
Christopher H. Johnson – “Economic Reform in Saudi Arabia: Opportunities for the Kingdom & America” (April 21, 2016)
Dr. John Duke Anthony – “President Obama’s Meeting with GCC Leaders in Saudi Arabia: An Opportunity for Heightened Cooperation” (April 18, 2016)
Laura El-Katiri – “A Quiet Revolution: Renewable Energy in the GCC Economies” (April 5, 2016)
HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal & Dr. John Duke Anthony – “Answering President Obama’s ‘Free Riders’ Allegations” (March 15, 2016)
A Discussion with Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Dr. Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani (October 7, 2015)
H.E. Dr. Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani – “Envisioning the GCC’s Future: Prisms for Perspective” (August 24, 2015)
Dr. Imad Harb – “The Consolidation of a New Arab Political Order” (April 13, 2015)
Dr. John Duke Anthony – “ISIS, the United States, and the GCC” (February 19, 2015)
Dr. John Duke Anthony – “The Future Significance of the Gulf Cooperation Council” (April 1, 2012)

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations

Twitter: @ncusar

We’ve arrived!

NFL Films is using a clip from the McCuistion Program, Techno Trends Part 1, on part of their documentary series program entitled, “A Tale of Two Cities”, that will air on the NFL Network on Saturday, December 19th 2015.

Dennis asks a guest in the audience, “What is an internet”?

We’re excited they sought us out. So if you watch the NFL Network, please comment, tweet, Facebook and all manner of communication.

As always thanks for your support and friendship.
Niki N. McCuistion:
Executive Producer/Producer
Executive coach, culture change strategist and speaker
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Google+ ProfileBe sure to watch more McCuistion TV programs on our website

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