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February 10, 2021
New Report Finds "Serious Conflicts Of Interest" At Top National Security Think Tank Sought Out By Biden Administration
“CNAS is far from alone among Washington think tanks in engaging in questionable ethical behavior of this variety, and all such behavior is worthy of attention. But the scale and scope of conflicts of interest that appear in CNAS’s work and the influence that its donors may be exerting on policy further highlights serious concerns about political corruption,” report coauthor Brett Heinz said.
February 10, 2021
Under-appreciated in the Michael Barr press blitz (again, including by us) is Barr’s current listed work as an advisor to the venture capital firm NYCA Partners, which exclusively invests in fintech startups.
February 04, 2021 | American Prospect
As grinding as the cabinet fights have been, they’re only the first wave of the Biden administration’s personnel. Now comes a new stage of the transition, in which the newly-named secretaries choose their own undersecretaries and senior advisers. Although occupants of these positions typically operate outside the national spotlight, they still wield enormous power.
February 04, 2021
Some mixed news for progressive tax enthusiasts: Joe Biden’s administration has chosen both a committed progressive tax advocate and a Republican career expert in corporate tax avoidance for its first two appointees to the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy. We’re now in a strange situation where experts who testified on opposite sides of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will now serve shoulder-to-shoulder.
February 03, 2021
Heidi Crebo-Rediker has been publicly floated as a potential pick to serve as a high-level Treasury Department official. DC’s self-dealing politico culture means her husband, Doug Rediker, is also in the mix for a Biden administration job. This news is deeply concerning, given the couple’s shared history cashing in on their insider government ties as the founders of geopolitical investment advisory firm, International Capital Strategies. Heidi and Doug’s history of revolving between Wall Street and government should give any neutral observer pause.
February 02, 2021
During Janet Yellen’s confirmation hearing to become Secretary of the Treasury, she promised to “look to appoint someone at a very senior level” to lead the Treasury’s efforts on climate action.
February 01, 2021 | The Intercept
Fintech is neither inherently good nor bad; rather, like any technology, its potential impact on society is closely tied to the policy decisions guiding its use — and the next four years could define how much the fintech industry is able to shape the financial system. Left to their own devices, fintech firms could swindle average people through ill-advised day-trading or high-interest loans, usher new systemic risks into the financial system, and develop traceable, privately owned currencies with the potential to replace cash.
January 29, 2021
The American Prospect reported today that Cass Sunstein, the former Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), is telling colleagues he is in line for a job in the Biden Administration. Environmental, labor, consumer advocacy, and progressive economic groups are united in their disdain toward Sunstein for his attacks on common-sense regulation throughout his time in the Obama Administration.
January 26, 2021
Lately, fintech-funded individuals like Michael Barr have been rumored for powerful financial regulatory positions, despite the fact that this would leave them in charge of decisions directly affecting the firms they advised.
January 26, 2021
Initially created to regulate futures derivatives on crops that had yet to be harvested, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) holds newfound possibility in the coming decade. It is absolutely crucial that a modern-day CFTC taps into the power it already holds to lead on climate action. Naturally, this necessitates a leader with a proven record of taking on corporate power. Any appointee should be prepared to advocate for the public interest, acknowledge the current reality of climate decay we find ourselves in, and creatively apply tools of the government to take immediate action.
January 22, 2021
Department of the Obvious: Wall Street and FinTech Friendly People Should Not Oversee Federal Banking System
Racial Wealth Gap Expert Mehrsa Baradaran is an Alternative to Michael Barr, a Wall Street and Big Tech Ally.
January 22, 2021 | The American Prospect
On Monday, President Biden announced his intention to name Federal Trade Commissioner Rohit Chopra as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s next director, earning a rare, unqualified cheer from the party’s left flank. Despite serving in the minority on the FTC, Chopra has managed to have a ground-shaking impact, earning a reputation for skillful and creative maneuvering. It is encouraging to see his dogged work for the public interest rewarded and the CFPB land in such capable hands. Just elevating Chopra, however, is not enough. If Democrats are serious about good governance and building their party’s power, they must look to the institutional features that provided Chopra with a platform and honed his governing skills so that, moving forward, he is not such a lonely figure.
January 22, 2021
Big Tech has a huge stake in who Biden ultimately staffs his antitrust and tech regulators. These individuals will decide how aggressively to carry out Biden’s promises of reining in the political and market power of these companies. If Big Tech gets its way, Biden will staff his antitrust teams with its attorneys and allies, who have pushed back against calls to break up these monopolies and protected them against regulation and enforcement. But if Biden wants to keep his campaign promises to take on monopolies, he must shut the revolving door between the federal government and Big Tech. That starts by rejecting for top jobs the following Big Tech allies.